College Life at MSM

News from Music Summer School

Every year there are two incredible weeks of music making and learning at the annual Kodaly Music Summer School, directed by the fabulous Dr James Cuskelly. ( MSM has had a longstanding relationship with the Summer School with several staff and students attending over the years, including myself (there most years since 2004!), Ms Dias-Jayasinha, Mrs Statham, and also recent past students Elizabeth Smyth, Emma Louttit, Romany Martin, Talea Byrne, Bella Dredge, and this year Madeleine Martin for the second year in a row!

Student Report from Madeleine Martin:
The 2019 summer holidays, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2-week Cuskelly music summer school program hosted at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School. This program allowed music teachers and people with a passion for music to attend from all around the world, not just from Queensland or Australia. It offered a range of different courses such as the jazz course, orchestral instrumental course and the musical theatre course. Various choirs, musicianship (theory) classes and instrumental groups were available for attendees also. In my time at the summer school, I participated in the musical theatre course, where we were taught by Nia Lynn, the official voice coach at the Royal Shakespeare Company and West End in London. Over the 2 weeks, we explored topics such different vocal techniques when performing, the effective communication and deliverance of text and its relevant in the modern world and our personal experiences, and the development and characterisation of different roles within a production.
Additionally, we were taught by the founder of France’s most influential singing program L’académie du chanteur moderne (the Modern Singer’s Academy) Alan Hubert-Wright. Applying his knowledge on the physiological and acoustic aspects of the singing voice, we put together a condensed production of the infamous Les Miserables, including iconic songs such as “At the End of the Day”, “A Heart Full of Love” and “One Day More.” Another well-known part of the summer school was the Jazz Choir, conducted by Professor of Jazz Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London Pete Churchill. There, we learnt about the construction of jazz chords, vocal blending and left with an immense appreciation of the jazz genre. At the final concert, we performed Stevie Wonder’s “Smile Please”, James Taylor’s “Lonesome Road” and an original piece by Pete “Never Give Up”. Overall, this summer school has greatly enriched me as a musician, and I left with memories and people I will never forget. As well as getting educated on new topics, the people at the camp were so supportive and passionate about what they do which was very infectious. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to attend this summer school, I guarantee that it will be an experience filled with lots of fun, new friends with common interests and a very good time being immersed in all things music.
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