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On Tuesday the 12th, both the instrumentalist and the singers attended a workshop on practice with Jo Hensel at Guildhall. She opened the class by inviting us to partner up with someone we know the least and talk, uninterrupted, about our relationship with practice. While one person talked, the other had to practice active listening. After a short discussion of how being on each side of the conversation made us feel, we were asked to switch partners again for a different task where we evaluate our practice methods. In the task, we evaluated different aspects of our practice methods. We each took time ranking the following aspects out of ten based on how satisfied we were with the aspect. Physical environment, practice time, productivity, focus, creativity, the material including repertoire, motivation and, health and wellbeing. After another short discussion, we asked each other deep analysing questions and based on those question we decided on a single action we would do to improve the area/s we are unsatisfied with. I great experience that allowed us to really actively think about our own practicing practice without judgment and with helpful direction.

On Monday the 18th, the group was lucky enough to sit in on a dress rehearsal of the Midsummer Night’s Dream opera by Benjamin Britten, performed by the students of Guildhall. Not only is the story itself of a Midsummer Nights Dream odd, but Britten’s musical interpretation is also sufficiently eccentric. That coupled with the stunning set and costume design, the whole production was quite captivating. After watching a run through of the first act, the cast and crew gathered for notes and briefing. I think we were all slightly taken aback by the intensity of the small meetings happening across the venue. In the pit the conductor was giving very particular directions, in the audience, the choreographer was instructing the fairies and off to the side, two of the main actors were practicing slapping each other. While all this was happening, the technicians would make changes and slight alterations all across the venue. As a viewer, it was interesting to hear the criticisms and then watch them be implemented or not in the second run-through. Overall a great glimpse into the standard of rehearsal and performance that the students at Guildhall must meet.

 

Written by Maria Zhdanovich

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The vocalists were very lucky to take part in a masterclass at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama ran by Assistant Head of Voice Samantha Malk. We were each able to demonstrate some of our repertoire, and partake in workshopping around activating our bodies and the physicality of our music. It was an excellent opportunity to see how vocal pedagogy is approached outside of Australia, and to take in different perspectives around our technique and musicality.

Written by Callum McGing

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Today the group attended Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral, joining the community of local parishioners and visitors both local and international. The service was rich in stunning choral music and it was a truly spiritual experience for all of us that attended. It was agreed by a few in the tour group that it was quite difficult to hear the choir during some parts of the service, however, the difficulty of a space such as St. Paul’s Cathedral was handled well by such a fantastic ensemble. The entire group enjoyed the experience very much!

 

Written by Lucy Stoddart

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In January the Elder Conservatorium’s Jazz Department combined with JazzSA to hold a Jazz ‘Camp’. The camp was attended by 43 enthusiastic students aged from 12 to 53, with the average student in Year 11. The staff, led by camp director and current Head of Jazz Mark Ferguson, were all former jazz students (many are current casual staff) except for […]

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The very first cohort of new Music Theatre students will soon descend on the Elder Conservatorium. Within weeks, the place will be buzzing with the sounds of acting, music and dance classes. The response to the first audition round was outstanding and the fortunate students selected hail from all over Australia, with international students from the USA, Singapore and China. […]

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Before commencing our the cultural tour with Steve, many of us visited the Sir John Ritblat Gallery – Treasures of the British Library. This was an incredible experience, as we were able to see original manuscript, written by the likes of Mozart, Debussy, Handel, Bach and Beethoven. It was humbling to view the creative processes of artists, in their original […]

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On the 11th of February, the vocal students of the elder Conservatorium met at Hinde church. We arrived to the London Philharmonic Choir’s rehearsal at 6:30. We were there to watch their first rehearsal of Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’. The rehearsal was really great. They went through small bits at a time sight singing. This conductor used lots of technical language […]

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On the evening of Tuesday the 12th of February the combined tour group attended the London Coliseum for the English National Opera’s performance of Puccini’s La Boheme. La Bohème tells the story of Rodolfo and his love for Mimi, a young seamstress whom he meets that Christmas Eve night. Over the course of a couple of hours, Puccini treats us […]

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This evening the singers attended the final choir rehearsal of the Dream of Gerontious conducted by David Temple. This rehearsal was to properly finalise any last minute fixes needed to be done before the big show on Sunday night. All of the singers very much enjoyed hearing the crouch end festival chorus work on and showcase a sneak peek of […]

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Today we had the pleasure of attending the Royal College of Music’s, Club Prize Winner’s Recital. 2018 winner, Frances Gregory, is a mezzo-soprano and current student of the Royal Academy. Together with accompanist William Cole, Gregory took us on a journey taken of love and relationship, with works from Reynaldo Hahn, Carl Loewe and Gioachino Rossini, the latter being the […]

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