Andrew was thrilled to be recently appointed as Head of Singing at the renowned Repton School in Derbyshire. His role there involves teaching singing lessons, helping with the overall vision of singing at the school, and working with colleagues in the organisation of masterclasses, concerts and competitions.
Uppingham and Stoneygate Schools both enjoyed excellent end-of-term musical events. Uppingham put on its first ever fully staged opera, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, and this was a roaring success. All of the singers excelled themselves, and it was fantastic to see their commitment to both singing and acting. Stoneygate put on a varied concert of choral and orchestral works, along with instrumental and vocal solos. There was also a surprise Elvis impersonator . . . The blog report of this concert is here.
In March 2016, Andrew travelled to Norway to sing the role of Jesus in Bach’s Johannes Passion (St John Passion) in Stavanger Cathedral. This was a very moving occasion in front of a packed audience, and the choir and orchestra were in the capable hands of conductor Oddgeir Kjetilstad.
In March 2016, Andrew had a busy time examining for ABRSM in Nottingham and Leeds. These tours involved examining instrumentalists and singers up to Grade 8. For more info about ABRSM, the world-leader in music exams, visit abrsm.org.
In November 2015, Andrew sang the bass solos in Bach’s magnificent Mass in B Minor. This was under the baton of the wonderful Ben Palmer, and his orchestra, Orchestra of St Paul’s. The choir was the vibrant Vox Cordis.
I am currently working with the superb Crouch End Festival Chorus as a vocal coach, to assist the tenors and basses in preparation for their upcoming concerts. These incredibly rewarding evenings involve jointly leading rehearsals with the amazing conductor David Temple, offering suggestions and tips about improving the overall sound and negotiating some of the more difficult choral passages. I highly recommend that you attend one of their concerts – their website is www.cefc.org.uk. So far we have looked at Britten’s Saint Nicolas, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and bach’s Mass in B Minor.
In September 2015 I travelled to Ghent to sing the role of Action in a staged production of West Side Story. We put the show together in two days, and this consisted of a full orchestra, singers and an amazing troupe of dancers. You can see the huge outdoor stage on the right of the photo, as well as the “catwalk” that we used for the songs. About 10,000 people came to watch on the streets of Ghent, and at the end there was a spectacular firework display. A memorable weekend!
Andrew sang a wide range of songs as part of today’s Babygigs concert. Babygigs is a fantastic organisation, dedicated to promoting the concert experience for young children, toddlers and babies. Songs included Finzi’s Let us Garlands Brings, a selection of Flanders and Swann classics, some jazz numbers including Fly Me to the Moon, and the “Last Night of the Proms” fixtures Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia! Eleanor Hodgkinson (founder of Babygigs) played the piano – please visit www.babygigs.co.uk for more information about the excellent work they do.
Andrew spent five days in August in Scotland, teaching singing on the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain summer course. As the only male vocal teacher on the course, it was Andrew’s job to teach all of the boys in the two most senior choirs; the one-to-one lessons included work on repertoire, vocal health and a whistle-stop tour of how the larynx works. This thoroughly enjoyable course culminated in the NCCGB choirs performing in concerts as part of the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. www.nccgb.com
As part of the prestigious Gent Festival of Flanders, Andrew will sing in a concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s unforgettable musical West Side Story. This will take place on 12 September in Gent, Belgium, and Andrew will sing the part of Action. For more information about this unique and cosmopolitan arts festival, please visit the Gent Festival website, www.gentfestival.be/en