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Inspiring young musicians

3 August 2018

Students from Goresbrook School performing at Cardiff University School of Music

Pupils from Goresbrook School, Dagenham, recently visited the School of Music for a day of workshops, and recording sessions.

The School’s Big Band and Jazz Orchestra joined us for a day of exciting interactive music making with students at the School of Music. The students enjoyed an informal performance by the School of Music student-staff ensemble ‘Infamous 5’, tours of the School and Students’ Union facilities, a lecture by Dr Dan Bickerton, and an exciting improvisation workshop led by MA student Matthew Lush, involving current Music students from each year group.

Students from Goresbrook Primary perform at Cardiff University School of Music

The event was organised by Dr Dan Bickerton, Director of Undergraduate Studies, in collaboration with former alumnus and now Performing Arts Specialist Teacher at Goresbrook, Alex Davis. Alex graduated with a BMus degree in 2015, and completed his MA in Music in 2017.

Under Alex’s leadership, Goresbrook School have formed a series of jazz ensembles designed to introduce each pupil to instrumental performance, and were recently awarded a grant from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to aid their music making. All of the students involved in the day were from Year 7 and 8, and have been playing their instruments for less than a year.

Students from Goresbrook School performing music with student Matt Lush at Cardiff University School of Music

The day finished with a recording of an EP featuring the Goresbrook Jazz Ensembles, overseen by recent graduate Chris Davis (BMus 2018) and the School’s Technical Manager Mr Andrew Mabey.

After the event, Alex Davis said: “Cardiff University provided us with an amazing opportunity to immerse our students in the life of a working musician. The recording process was professional and students were able to perform and work in an authentic performance space. For students still in their first year of musical learning, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Two of the visiting students said:

“It was a great experience performing in a real recording studio and amazing to see the options I have ahead of me.” (Jack, Year 8, Saxophone)

“Cardiff University was huge! The trip has inspired me to do so much more music; the facilities were so fun to use.” (Victoria, Year 7, Saxophone)

I am very proud of the successful collaboration forged between Goresbrook School and Cardiff University School of Music. Given that Goresbrook pupils have only been performing for about 11 months, I am blown away by the wonderful opportunity Alex has created for these students, and the standard achievement already. It was a pleasure to be part of their musical journey and introduce young musicians to life at Cardiff University.

Dr Daniel Bickerton Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching

“I was delighted to see our students mix and work so well in supporting roles with the Goresbrook ensembles. I hope that we may be able to continue this partnership in the near future. Congratulations to all who took part!”

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The School provides a stimulating and supportive environment for musical scholarship, composition and performance.