Our OB this month is Max Pope (Le. 2008 – 2011). Max is a singer-songwriter and guitarist and spreads his time between South London and Brighton. He describes his music as ‘indie-soul’, and his songs can be found on his website. Max tells us about the challenges of being a young musician and his initial dreams of becoming a puppy.
Named one of London's most influential People in 208 in the category Performance: classical music, tenor James Way was the winner of 2nd prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. He was awarded the 2016 Simon Sandbach Award from Garsington Opera, the 'most promising singer' award at the Dean and Chadlington Singing Competition, and holds an Indepdent Opera Fellowship.
Dr Rachel Smith (Fe. 1988-90) came to Brighton as a music scholar, and was heavily involved in all aspects of music life whilst at school. The British Flute Society as well as Verity Sharp from BBC Radio 3 have praised Rachel for her control and beauty of tone, her talent has led her to play with symphony, chamber and opera orchestras, and conerto and recital performances have taken her around Europe, Japan, Zimbabwe, Canada and the USA.
"James Way has been astonishing audiences with his technical command and stylistic maturity." -The Progress 1000: London's most influential people 2018 - Performance: Classical music
Having recently graduated from the Brighton Institute of Modern Music in Brighton, Mia has recently released her debut single The Way You Roll.
It has been another fantastic term for Brighton College Chamber Music! after three gruelling national rounds, four of our ensembles were selected to play in the winners' final concert of the Pro Corda National Chamber Music Competition in Cambridge.
Do you remember being on the stage of the Great Hall, perhaps reciting some Shakespeare or maybe even Euripides? Or were you behind the scenes helping with costumes, props or even stage design? Drama, music, art and dance are flourishing at the College, but we very well know that the Great Hall stage has seen many an impressive show since it was built in 1913.
Phoebe Haines (Wi. 2004-06) is an award-winning British Mezzo Soprano, with vocal qualities that have been variously hailed as ‘extraordinary’ (The Times), ‘silvery’ (The Evening Standard), ‘impressive’ (The Los Angeles Times), and ‘opulent’ (Sunday Times Culture). To Phoebe, Brighton College and its Music Department were an inspiration and greatly influenced her career path.
Semi-Toned, an acapella group set up by Old Brightonian Eddie Henley (Ha. 2005-10) at Exeter University in 2010, won the final of Gareth Malone’s The Choir: Best in Britain on BBC2 this week. The group have been enjoying considerable success in recent years: in April 2015, they became national champions having won the Voice Festival UK, and they have toured extensively across the UK and the USA.
OB James Way (Ry. 2005-10 ) gave a wonderful performance at the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 10th September and we were delighted to catch up with him this week to find out how it had gone from his perspective.
Paul was born into a family of musicians, reluctantly learning to play the piano before deciding on a career as a composer at age twelve. At nineteen his orchestral pieces were recorded as production library music, and at twenty he became Assistant Musical Adviser to ABC Television and composed his first score for a major TV drama. Paul began composing this piece while still a pupil at the College over fifty years ago! Completed just before Christmas, Paul then undertook the arduous task of proof-reading the 63 pages. He has now donated the piece to the College for the pupils to perform and rehearsals are underway!
Much to the delight of the chamber choir and Alex Sansbury (U6th, Hampden) who memorably performed with the Pink Floyd legend, David Gilmour generously entertained guests with performances from his latest album Rattle that Lock, and the evocative Wish You Were Here.
Mia Williams-Watson (Wi. 2001-14) & Lucy D’Orsaneo (Lower 6th Seldon) reach regional round of TeenStar
Lucy D’Orsaneo (Seldon Lower 6th) and Mia Williams-Watson (Wi. 2001-14) have reached the regional round of TeenStar (age group 16-19s).
As the Music School progresses, so the vision of a new Music School for the College is finally coming into focus. Alongside many other advantages that the Music School will bring, pupils will also benefit from state of the art recording facilities, enhancing and refining their performance techniques and of course recording them for posterity.
Warmest congratulations to Phoebe Haines (phoebehaines.co.uk) who opened the International Opera Awards (www.operaawards.org) on 7 April 2014 at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
Phoebe who is a mezzo soprano, will also debut at the Salzburg Festival this summer.
BREMF Trustee Gavin Henderson CBE (Le. 1960-65) has been ‘resident trumpeter’ at St Bartholomew’s Church for fifty years; to celebrate this golden jubilee, and to mark Gavin’s retirement from playing, a concert is being given to raise funds for endowment of the music at St Bart’s – the trumpets especially! Those taking part are giving their services for a programme that is all Purcell.
Gavin Henderson CBE (Le. 1960-65), Principal of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, grew up in Brighton - where his first work in the theatre comprised holiday jobs backstage at the 'weekly rep' on the Palace Pier, and in pantomime at Wimbledon.
Congratulations to Mia Williams-Watson (U5th, Williams) who was Under 16 runner up in the national final of Open Mic UK at the NEC earlier this month.
Mia made it through to the Open Mic UK Grand Final which will now take place at the NEC in Birmingham in January! She sang "Empire State of Mind (New York)" by Alicia Keys.
PAUL LEWIS was born into a family of professional musicians in Brighton, England, in 1943. As a child he was fascinated by history and ancient buildings, reluctantly learning the piano from the age of nine. At twelve he saw the Shakespeare films of Laurence Olivier with Walton's music and immediately realized he had to be a composer. He purposely avoided all formal training, choosing instead to leave school at fifteen and enter music publishing to find out how the music business worked from inside.
Preceding the College Chamber Orchestra performing the piece "Rosa Mundi" by OB Paul Lewis on Wednesday 21st November at the Autumn Concert, Paul very kindly came in to listen to the ensemble on Monday and spoke to the pupils about the inspiration behind the hautingful beautiful piece, a tragic love affair and a beautiful Rosa Mundi rose that bloomed outside his window as he worked on the arrangement.
Morgan Griffiths (H. 2003-08) is appearing at the Hop Farm Festival this year (Friday, 29th June) which, according to The Times, is the music festival to visit this summer! The line-up has been announced and Morgan's band, Yossarian, are performing on the Friday on the same stage (The Big Tent) as The Stranglers and Lianne La Havas. You can follow this link for more information about who is playing.
Dave Clarke (formerly David Carter H. 1982-85) is one of the most respected (and idiosyncratic) techno DJs and producers in the ninties/noughties, Dave Clarke began his music career as a hip-hop DJ in the mid-'80s, shifting to and staying with Techno & Electro.
Congratulations to William Emery, L5th, on gaining a place at the Youth Music Theatre UK. This is a National Organisation which mounts several productions each year. Competition for places in the cast is fierce and it is an outstanding achievement for William to be successful in a particularly tough audition process. Well done!
Warmest congratulations to the College Chamber Choir who performed excellently before a packed house at the Glorious Venice concert (St Bartholomew's Church, Saturday 24th October). Joining three long established chamber choirs and a quartet of recently graduated professional soloists, the college musicians contributed fully to a programme of complex Venetian choral music by Monteverdi and the Gabriellis (Giovanni & Andrea).
Malcolm McKelvey, the music teacher and choirmaster who has died aged 79, helped to mould the talent of some of Britain's leading figures in the world of classical music; his best known alumni include Charles Hazlewood, the broadcaster and conductor, Simon Joly, the conductor of the BBC Singers from 1989 to 1995, and Paul Hoskins, the Music Director of the Rambert Dance Company.