Summer is here and a number of you have noticed I missed a month.
For sure the last month has certainly been a whirlwind as Heather and I welcomed little Louis into the world on the 26th May! Now we are adjusting to functioning on a lack of sleep, so thank goodness for coffee! ☕️ After taking some time off at home and acclimatising to becoming a new Dad, it has been a case of back to work with a bang! (Turns out you can fit nappies and non alcoholic beer under a pram 😆)
World Orchestra Festival
I have been working with World Orchestra Festival (WOF) since March presenting a series of online workshops aimed at conductors, teachers and musicians who work or play with youth ensembles. Here I am working virtually with 廣東實驗中學Guangdong Experimental High School who were playing a Chinese folk orchestral piece called "Torch Festival”. The standard was exceptionally high, and online we worked at characterisation and ensemble challenges with their conductor who was a joy to work with. The workshop attracted an audience of 3000 across China on the festival’s app!
This month I was supposed to be going to conduct in Vienna and China as part of WOF 2021. They do an amazing job in creating an international platform for people to come together and make music, share experience and learn from each other. Whilst I could not be there in person to work with the orchestras, I adjudicated their youth wind & brass ensemble competition with 20 entries from across China. You can watch their final concert and closing ceremony here:
Growing a Youth Orchestra
My work for this year’s festival culminated with a presentation which will be available soon on my YouTube page. We had people on Zoom from Indonesia to the UK, with the presentation then streamed via their app in China with incredible numbers; over 140 groups from 33 countries took part.
This is an evolving partnership and I have invitations (in person or virtual) for September to visit Vienna, Guangdong and Beijing to conduct. I feel privileged to be working with young people. This generation are our future, and we need to support them in their music and education. Playing or singing in an ensemble is central to these experiences. We need inspirational, outstanding, committed, skilled and passionate leaders and conductors at ALL levels. Youth is where it starts!
Closer to home, it certainly feels like the industry is slowing opening and thanks to all those who are petitioning and making the case for choirs and orchestras to meet. It has been great to be in rehearsals or the recording studio with Manchester Camerata, WNO Community Chorus, NEW Sinfonia and the RNCM this month. Keep your eyes peeled for an exciting collaboration between NEW Sinfonia and Cardiff International Academy of Conducting set for October 2021!
For now, thanks for reading and enjoy "Shining Dawn" with NEW Sinfonia - Guy conducted by Guy! ☺️