Skip to main content

Making music in lockdown

6 July 2021

Gareth Churchill
South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus performing Grinding

Gareth Churchill continued to teach, compose and engage with the local community throughout the pandemic

Gareth has taught our Composing Music Workshop for a number of years.  As this course has traditionally been taught online, Gareth was able to continue encouraging and mentoring his students seamlessly over the past few months.

However, Gareth did feel disappointed that his community collaborations would be postponed, but his sheer enthusiasm and determination shone through when he realized not only could his course be taught online but his other projects could also thrive online too. We caught up with Gareth to hear about his exciting projects:

“I was excited to collaborate with the South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus which was being supported by the Ty Cerdd Codi Buddies scheme. I was delighted to discover the choir had started to meet online in a more casual context for home singalongs, quizzes etc and this seemed like the ideal place to continue our collaboration which explored the choir’s experiences on mobile dating applications and together we developed a piece called Grinding.

At the start of the second lockdown Mid Wales Opera advertised their Music at Your Place scheme and I was attracted by the prospect of being able to engage with anther community group online and teach them about a new sort of music.

As a stroke survivor myself, I pitched to create a piece about the experience of the pandemic from the perspective of brain injury survivors, in association with Headway Cardiff and South East Wales.

After receiving a commission and with the support of Arts Council of Wales, my collaborators and I met online to develop texts and explore the style of music for the set of four short songs which make up my Grey Matters for mezzo soprano and cello".

We have received great feedback from Gareth’s students who have finished his Composing Music Workshop:

“I Have learned to trust my intuition on this course. Also, the importance of writing the score in ways that clearly express my ideas along with the importance of producing a score that is suitable for performance. It was eminently practical and your music is always respected by Gareth, and however experienced you are, the detail and perceptiveness of feedback will always give you techniques and ideas upon which to build.” Chris Jones

We are very lucky to have Gareth on our teaching team. If you would like to join him and like-minded others on his courses then details can be found here.

Share this story