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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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Urban Artist School – Open for applications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban Artist School’s Level 4 is a course for urban music artists who are serious about entry to the music industry. Our course focuses around the concept of you as an individual artist and supports you in developing your repertoire, recorded catalogue and brand development towards the music industry.

They are looking for talented musicians to join the Urban Artist School – a one year accredited programme, which aims to develop artists and help create sustainable careers. They will support your development to enable you to generate ideas quickly and respond to the creative potential of your work effectively and fluently.

They are looking for talented musicians to join the Urban Artist School – a one year accredited programme, which aims to develop artists and help create sustainable careers. We will support your development to enable you to generate ideas quickly and respond to the creative potential of your work effectively and fluently.

The course starts in September 2019 and runs for 30 weeks. Classes will run over 2.5 days per week. All participants will work towards a level 4 qualification – equivalent to the first year of a degree.  

For more information, please visit the Urban Development website

Run by Urban Development and supported by Arts Council England, The Brit Trust, Youth Makes Music PRS Foundation, Vivendi, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation,

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Applications are now open for The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2020

 

Young musicians who are aged 13-18, play at Grade 8 distinction level or equivalent and are totally committed to music.

Musicians who are offered a seat will be attending three orchestral rehearsal residencies, tour dates, three performances throughout the year and between 5-10 days of NYO Inspire activity. Subject to confirmation – the activities take place in schools and concert halls around the UK throughout the year.

Auditions will be held in London, Manchester, and Birmingham during late September – October 2019.

Residency Dates

Saturday 28 December 2019 – Monday 6 January 2020 – NYO Winter Residency

Tuesday 7 April 2020 – Saturday 18 April 2020 – NYO Spring Residency

Monday 27 July 2020 – Saturday 8 August 2020 – NYO Summer Residency

Additional NYO Activity Dates

Saturday 15 – Sunday 23 February 2020 – NYO Inspire Ensembles

NYO welcomes musicians to be part of the NYO 2020 and break through to the next level of orchestral brilliance, perform the most challenging music with the world’s greatest conductors and inspire other teenagers through NYO Inspire. NYO additionally recruits teenage composers.

Auditions are FREE and applicants will receive feedback.

Bursaries are available to cover travel to and from the audition as well as the applicant’s place in the orchestra. Auditions are friendly, positive, and great learning experiences. NYO Tutors will share playing tips in a workshop, and all applicants will receive performance feedback.

More more information please visit the NYO Website.

 

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Hackney Scholar of the Month: Shania

This month, we continue with our new feature, Hackney Scholar of the Month, shining a light on some of the amazingly talented young musicians in Hackney. This month we continue with Shania – read her feature and interview below….

Shania first came to HMS’s attention when she joined the Hackney Borough Youth Choir when she was in Year 4.  She was a fantastic singer, and was also we discovered making really good progress as a recorder player in her classroom music lessons at primary school.  She had also started to learn the violin, and by the time she reached Year 6 and was getting ready to move to secondary school, still singing, playing the recorder and also the violin, she was showing all the signs of being a really talented young musician.  She already had a really good basis for learning to play a wind instrument with all her singing and recorder experience, so she tried the oboe out and, as you will see from her interview, the rest is history!

 

(Photo of Shania featured on the front of the ABRSM’s ‘Libretto’ magazine, taken during her time as a London Music Fund scholar)

 

What made you decide to play your instrument?

When I was initially presented with the opportunity to play the oboe by Hackney Music Service, I must admit that I didn’t actually know what it was as I had quite a limited knowledge of music at the time. I had been playing the violin for a few years and although I really enjoyed it, I was excited to try something new. I had a “taster” lesson on the oboe and enjoyed it immensely which prompted me to make the decision to start learning it.

What do you love most about it?

I love the fact that the oboe is quite a rare instrument and it is fun to play. It is always a joy to meet other oboists as well.

How often do you practice?

My practise times vary as I am usually very busy, but on average, I practise about 4-5 hours a week.

Do you play in any ensembles – orchestras, bands, in or out of school, or with HMS?

Yes, I play with the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra and I am in the senior school band at my school.

What has been your most exciting musical experience so far? (any particular performances that you have taken part in that really stand out, or a particular music lesson that really changed things for you)

My most exciting musical experience so far has been the London Symphony Orchestra concert at Trafalgar Square last year. It was a lot of fun to meet other musicians (and oboists) it was also very exciting to play the music with the composer (Kate Whitley) so nearby and invested in the deliverance of the piece. However, I think that my first performance at the Hackney Music Service Gala at the Hackney Empire is what really encouraged me to invest my time in studying music.

What musician would you most like to meet or perform with?

I would love to meet John Clayton.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to listen to / learn more music or even travel back in time to a different musical era, where would you go and why? 

I would travel to New Orleans between 1920-1950’s when Jazz was most popular. Personally, I think that Jazz represents cultural diversity and hope. Despite the stigma surrounding people of colour and the problems happening in the rest of the south during this time period, Jazz continued to develop and change the expectations of what music “has” to be like and who can play it.

How does being a musician / performing music make you feel?

Whenever I finish learning a new piece or whenever I play something well, I feel a sense of accomplishment. With music, you can hear that all of your practice and extra hours are paying off.  When I think back to when I had first started my instrument, and think of the progress that I have made, I feel like I have really achieved something. Music is one of the most liberating forms of expression and it is always interesting to learn about the way that music ties in with the historical context that we are taught at school.

Any words of advice to someone just starting out on their instrument now?

I would advise the person just starting out on their instrument to get involved with as many ensembles and group performances as possible. It is a great opportunity to meet likeminded people, make lasting friendships and learn more about other instruments. I would definitely encourage the individual to continue with their instrument for as long as possible. Music opens so many doorways and it is never boring because there are so many styles, genres and interpretations. Music is freedom, and although it takes a while to master your instrument, it is most definitely worth it.

 

More about Shania’s story...

After making a cracking start with her oboe playing Shania was originally awarded a scholarship from the Mayor of London (now known as the London Music Fund).  She was also given the chance to put her singing to good use during her time as a Mayor’s Scholar as she was invited to Southwark Cathedral to sing a solo for the Mayor’s Carol Service, which she did absolutely beautifully.  Once graduated from the Mayor of London’s award, it was clear that Shania was fast becoming quite a serious player and was about to start her Music GCSE course.  She received further support, this time from the Mayor of Hackney, to continue with her lessons.  Now in the middle of her Music A Level course at a sixth form in a Hackney school, Shania is receiving some assistance from both the National Youth Arts Trust and also from the fantastic singer and songwriter Kwabs HMS is lucky to have a very special relationship with this extraordinarily talented, generous and resilient young man. Shania is one of a number of Hackney young musicians Kwabs has supported over the last few years.  As a result of this generosity from both Kwabs and the NYAT, Shania now has an oboe of her own and continued support with her oboe tuition this year.

 

 

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