Jazz is the Order of the DayJanet
Music students at Malton School have been able to take advantage of two fantastic opportunities in just two days as they have been entertained by nationally acclaimed jazz musicians, even enjoying an improvisation workshop.
On Friday, members of the Jazz Band attended an afternoon of concerts in Scarborough as part of the Scarborough Jazz Festival, which this year celebrated 20 years. Held in the Grand Hall at Scarborough Spa, the 3 day festival attracts audiences from around the UK and performers from across the globe. Students were treated to a full afternoon featuring Jamil Sheriff’s Five Gold Rings, Torie Freestone and Alcyona Mick and the Jonny Mansfield Quintet; three very different groups with very different styles.
On Monday morning, the same students, plus our GCSE and A level students, took part in a workshop with Gareth Williams, fresh from his own appearance at the Jazz Festival. Williams, who is Professor of Jazz & Piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Lecturer at Middlesex University, as well as being described as a ‘fantastic improviser’ by The Guardian, led a Masterclass on Improvisation. At the end of the workshop, several of our students took the brave step of playing an improvised solo to their fellow students:
- Sophia on Trumpet
- Tabitha on Sax
- Layla on percussion
- Eve on vocals using her voice as an instrument
- Oscar on bass guitar
- Will on electric guitar
Speaking after the event, Mr Woodrow, Music Teacher at Malton School said, “Performance is a key part of both the GCSE and A level syllabus and it’s important our students experience a wide range of musical styles but also have the confidence to try new skills and so improve their own playing techniques. The main skill in improvisation is letting go of your own inhibitions and allowing the music to take over. I am delighted that such a well-known, dynamic and creative Jazz specialist was able to encourage our students to do just that. I am also really looking forward to seeing and hearing the difference these experiences will bring to both their musical knowledge and their own performance skills.“