Blog #3 and I am buzzing with excitement writing this!
I was thrilled to be back teaching, conducting and playing at Pro Corda this month. I had that gnawing feeling at the back of my mind that this work would be cancelled like so much other work. But it wasn’t! Hooray!
Pro Corda are led by an inspirational team of dedicated staff with Andrew Quartermain (CEO), Annie Thwaite (Director of Core Courses) and Matthew Jones (Director of the Intermediate Course, which was my week). We had risk assessments, health & safety measures, COVID-19 safety requirements galore, masks, everyone tested with a thermometer and thankfully we all made it through and were finally able to MAKE SOME MUSIC WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN PERSON! I even remembered my baton and viola!
In a former life I played the viola with orchestras and chamber ensembles. The best conducting lessons I have ever had were playing viola in the middle of an ensemble listening and absorbing the music. It felt nice to combine these skills this week.
The students were a delight! I gave two conducting classes a day where I introduced them to conducting fundamentals, played in two quartets where I coached from the viola seat and then we finished with string orchestra every evening. Each student had the opportunity to work with the string orchestra and one even conducted in the concert! For many, this was their first conducting experience.
RAIN for a socially distanced concert
Sadly the parents could not hear our chamber music performances at the end of the course, but we did give a socially distanced performance of Shostakovich String Quartet No.8 arranged for string orchestra. We were in the barn concert hall with the double doors wide open for the parents in the car park to listen, and of course the only time it rained was during the 15 minutes we played! Not sure if that is a bad omen…..
Anyway - thanks Pro Corda.