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Hackney Music Service: Music Tutor Spotlight…..Lawrence Tatnall

This month we continue our feature shining a light on our dedicated team of music tutors working across Hackney both in schools and our collaborative projects. This month we spoke to Lawrence Tatnall who began his work in Hackney 13 years ago. He is now the Musical Director of the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra and works across a range of HMS projects and ensembles.

 

 

 

 

How did you come to choose your instrument, or did it choose you?

Although my official “instrument” is the trombone I now regard myself mainly as a conductor.  I was about 4 when I first started waving my arms to music with my granddad (who also conducted in his spare time!) but it was the piano and the trombone which I studied first. I didn’t really pick up the baton again till I was about 16.

What do you enjoy most about conducting and what is most challenging?

The thing that I most enjoy about conducting is that I get to really influence how a piece of music sounds.  I really enjoy the rehearsal process of taking something raw and unrefined and helping to make it into a beautiful piece.  By the performance the conductor’s job is basically done so then I get to hear amazing musicians playing from the best seat in the house!

What’s your all-time favourite gig – (either played in or been to) and why?

It’s really hard to choose a favourite concert of all time but I think it was probably the first ever orchestral concert that I went to see aged 8.  I knew from that point onwards that I wanted to be involved in an orchestra in some capacity for my career. There have also been some really special concerts with Hackney Music Service. Conducting the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra at the Barbican with the LSO was a particular highlight.

What do you enjoy most about teaching in Hackney?

The thing that makes Hackney so amazing is the people!  I have now been teaching in Hackney for about 13 years and it’s such an incredible place to work in.  It has been such a delight teaching in Hackney, and I think I have learnt just as much from the children over the years as they have learnt from me! It’s also such a vibrant place with so many different cultures and people. I am not sure there is anywhere else in the world quite like it!

Tell us a little bit about your musical life outside of Hackney Music Service

Outside of HMS I conduct several different groups such as the Havering Concert Orchestra and the Theydon singers.  I also work with professional musicians and have put on several events with local amateur choirs.  I also play the trombone freelance and am the accompanist of a local choir.

How does all of the above influence your teaching? 

I think that my work as a conductor has really brought home the benefits of playing instruments not just as an individual but in a group with others. It has definitely influenced my teaching in that I always try to get my pupils listening to each other (as an orchestral player would) and I always try to put together ensembles to perform in my schools.

What advice would you give to a student on developing their playing?

My advice for students would be to try to find every opportunity to play their instruments with others!  I always hated practicing on my own but absolutely loved playing in groups.  If it wasn’t for these, I don’t think I would have ever made it as a musician. Find groups in your schools, in Hackney Music Service or even make a group yourself but get playing!


More about Lawrence:

Lawrence’s first conducting experience was at the age of 4 in his grandparents house with a knitting needle. He then got his first real baton at the age of 16 while directing a performance of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture at the Kent Centre for Young instrumentalists. After being named the BBC Radio Kent Young Musician of the Future in 2002 he went on to graduate with BMus (hons) from the University of Surrey in 2005 (majoring jointly in performance and conducting) studying under Nicholas Conran. He then got a Postgraduate diploma at the Trinity College of Music. Lawrence has gone on to conduct many more works ranging from Mozart chamber music to larger choral works, and also ran the University College London Big Band for 9 years. He is currently the Musical Director of the Havering Concert Orchestra, the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra, and the Theydon Singers.  He recently founded the East London Chamber Orchestra; a collective of professional musicians for performing with choral societies. Lawrence is also a professional trombonist and has played in a diverse selection of groups ranging from principal trombone with Philharmonie de Nationale under Justus Franz to the prize winning brass dectet SE10

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Fake A Smile – Niccole and the Hackney Borough Youth Choir.

 

We are delighted to share our Hackney Borough Youth Choirs recent recording at Rising Tide Studios. 

As well as performing the song Fake A Smile live at the 2019 Hackney Music Service Gala at the Hackney Empire, HBYC provided backing vocals for this original song written by a pupil at Stormont House School an outstanding Hackney secondary school for pupils with complex and inter-related special educational needs.

The studio experience was quite different from the live performance experience as the choir were not recorded as one big group, but instead recorded in small groups of three, in a recording booth, with headphones and monitoring.  There was no opportunity for singers to ‘hide’ in the crowd. We are very proud of our choir and all involved!

You can listen to the recording below and see a photo montage created of the experience below.

Hackney Music Service would like to give a huge thanks to our Network Partner Paul Ryan at Rising Tide for accommodating us, to David Harries for recording the group, to Lauren Dyer for arranging the backing vocals, to Jane and Lauren for their wonderful vocal work with the choir as HBYC Leads, to Kelvin Ghann for being everything always to everyone, to families for all their support bringing singers along to rehearsals and performances, and last but not least to the singers for all their tremendous hard work – and a special thanks to Niccole for involving us all in her beautiful song!

We look forward to further collaborations with Rising Tide in the future – they are the most fantastic local resource, and if you are not already aware, please visit their website here there are opportunities for rehearsal space, mentoring, holiday projects, and we will be working closely with Paul to work out a programme to increase opportunities for primary-aged pupils to access their offers – watch this space!


To find out more about our Network Partners – visit our partner’s page here

For more information about HBYO and all of our wonderful ensembles and groups, visit our Ensembles page.  

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PGCert Performance Teaching – 50% discount to all Hackney teachers.

This year Guildhall offering a 50% discount to all Hackney teachers. The time commitment is 13 days of face-to-face workshops, plus online learning and self-directed study. The workshops are generally at weekends, mostly coinciding with half terms and holidays.

Who is it for?

The course is designed to support professional musicians, actors, production artists and dancers who teach as part of their practice as performers either as their main employment or as part of a portfolio career. It offers a unique opportunity to develop creative and reflective practice in teaching performing arts.

There are two pathways: PGCert and PGCert (HE). If you already have appropriate experience of teaching at HE level you may have the option of taking the PGCert (HE) pathway which will lead to additional professional recognition – Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In order to be eligible for the PGCert (HE) pathway, you need to be able to draw on at least 50-60 hours of authentic HE Learning & Teaching practice whilst doing the course.

Deadline 

25th March closing date for applications to the Guildhall School’s PGCert in Performance Teaching.

Further Information   

Further details are on the website (http://www.gsmd.ac.uk/perfteaching), including a short video from our Open Evening. Additionally, if you’d like to find out more please email carlos.lopez-real@gsmd.ac.uk

 

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Alter Ego Auditions – January 25th, Hackney Empire

Back by popular demand! East London’s biggest talent showcase returns and with it comes your chance to be chosen as the winner of Alter Ego 2020!

Whatever your talent, we want to see it!

Previous finalists performed alongside Yxng Bane, Krept and Konan, Lady Leshurr, Rudimental, Big Tobz, Misha B, Paigey Cakey, Ghetts, Sneakbo and many more… But you have to be in it to win it – for your chance to perform in front of over a thousand people, in a lineup with some major headline acts, come down to Hackney Empire and audition for Alter Ego 2020.

Your time is now. Don’t waste it.

 

Auditions Date: Sat 25 Jan 10am–6pm, Hackney Empire – Empire Two

Applicants must be aged 13-19.

To book your audition contact alterego@hackneyempire.co.uk or 020 8985 2424. (Mon – Sat 10am- 6pm)

Finalists will be mentored by top industry professionals -they then will perform alongside headline acts in front of over a thousand people at the Alter Ego 2019 Final, Fri 21 Feb at Hackney Empire. 

Watch this space for more information on the shows line up and on sale date.


Hackney Empire is a Hackney Music Network Partner. All enquires about this opportunity should be directed to the Hackney Empire Directly – visit the Hackney Empire Website Here

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New ensemble launching in 2020…Hackney Junior Jazz Ensemble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are pleased to announce that next term we will be launching a NEW and exciting ensemble – the Hackney Junior Jazz Ensemble (HJJE) for young musicians of Grade 2 and above standard looking for the experience of playing in a jazz group!

HJJE will be a cross-phase ensemble, open to Primary Yr5+ pupils as well as secondary players.  We anticipate a wide range of opportunities for musicians in the ensemble, as well as progression to the Hackney Creative Jazz Ensemble.

The group accommodates any instrument – we welcome drummers/percussionists, guitars/basses, keys as well as strings/wind and brass, tuned percussion are also warmly welcomed!

This new ensemble follows the success of our long-established Hackney Creative Jazz Ensemble (HCJE). HCJE regularly perform at venues such as the Vortex and the Hackney Empire and is aimed at minimum Grade 5 standard (Yr7+) players.  We are delighted that we are now able to additionally set up a feeder ensemble to nurture musicians from a younger age interested in exploring jazz.

HCJE Manager Oliver Crooke says:

‘We are excited to be launching this new ensemble in January 2020 which expands the range of opportunities we are able to offer young musicians across Hackney”

HJJE will rehearse at City Academy on Wednesdays 4.30 – 6pm, directly before the Senior Ensemble. Like HCJE, the ensemble will be coached by a team of professional musicians including a rotation of different instrumentalists in order that all the different sections of the group are supported well.

To find out more about HJJE, as well as our other ensemble opportunities, please visit HMS ensemble page, here

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Sing Every Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit – Andrew Wilkinson Photography

In 2019 Hackney Music Service Network Partner the VOCES8 Foundation led a special project with year 1 children and their teachers at Shoreditch Park Primary and Thomas Fairchild Community School. Called Sing Every Day, the project involved teacher training for the classroom teachers and singing workshops for the children led by members of the a cappella group Apollo5. Below, Ann Wright, Director of Education, VOCES8 Foundation reflects upon the project.


The children and teachers learned a variety of warm-ups for their bodies, brains and voices that included creating a magic potion, Peanut the cat on a trampoline and singing I’m alive, alert, awake enthusiastic. They also learned rhythms and melodies from the VOCES8 Method and explored body and vocal percussion through this Method.

Both schools learned a wide variety of songs to use as part of lessons (Mr Double Trouble for Maths was a favourite at Shoreditch Park); to perform in assemblies including One in a million by Emily Barden which celebrates the power of working together to achieve our dreams; and to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing including Apollo5’s arrangement of When you Wish Upon a Star which the children performed at the VOCES8 Centre in concert with Apollo5.

The project was evaluated by Professor Graham Welch and a team of researchers from UCL. Their findings point to the wonderful way in which the classroom teachers embraced the project learning to lead singing confidently and use it every day. The children’s singing improved significantly and at the end of the project scored well above a national database of singing evaluations conducted in UK schools. Additional wider benefits of the project include a positive correlation between the children’s singing development and aspects of executive function, particularly their phonological working memory.

You can see and hear the children and their teachers in this short film about the project:


For more information, about VOCES8 Foundation please visit their website here

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