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A graphic banner shows black and white photos of a double bass and a woman of colour overlayed with the words The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Clod Ensemble and nu civilisation orchestra

Trinity Laban Dance Collective collaborate with Clod Ensemble and Nu Civilisation Orchestra to celebrate Charles Mingus

On 9 and 10 November, Clod Ensemble and Nu Civilisation Orchestra, featuring dancers from the Trinity Laban Dance Collective, present a new perspective on Charles Mingus’ iconic 1963 recording The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. Part of the 2023 EFG London Jazz Festival, this show will transform the Grade II-listed Shoreditch Town Hall into a vibrant cabaret venue to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the album. 

Mingus always envisioned dance accompanying his provocative masterpiece. Trinity Laban Dance Collective, comprised of students currently on the MA/MFA Dance Performance programme, are working with Clod Ensemble and Nu Civilisation Orchestra as they honour that vision and bring it to life for a new generation.

Collaboration is at the heart of Trinity Laban’s approach to artistic development. Programme leader Hilary Stainsby says: 

“This is a great opportunity for the TLDC students to develop their performance skills in collaboration with a fantastic creative team, working alongside professional dancers and practitioners. We are particularly committed to offering different performative experiences on this programme, and this project is wonderfully unique and interesting.”

At Shoreditch Town Hall, dancers including Valerie Ebuwa, Faye Stoeser and TLDC will fill the venue with movement and energy. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady will see the dancers delivering both dense-knit choreography and passages of improvisation which dovetail with the band’s playing. The movement direction from Clod Ensemble’s Co-Artistic Director Suzy Willson will employ the same daring, bold approach that has characterised Clod Ensemble’s work since the company launched in 1995.

Nu Civilisation Orchestra will be led by the MOBO-nominated Peter Edwards and feature their Founder/Artistic Director and Trinity Laban Honorary Fellow Gary Crosby OBE on bass. The professional ensemble of the acclaimed talent development organisation Tomorrow’s Warriors, Nu Civilisation Orchestra has toured and performed extensively, including a BBC Proms performance in 2019, a UK tour in 2021 of What’s Going On a tribute to Marvin Gaye’s seminal masterpiece, and an acclaimed national tour of Joni Mitchell’s Hejira and Mingus albums in 2022.

In addition to Mingus’ work in full, the shows will also feature performances of new music from Peter Edwards, Clod Ensemble’s Artistic Director Paul Clark, and rising drummer/composer Romarna Campbell (current live drummer for Fever Ray).

This performance also gives audience members the chance to move along with the music in celebration of Mingus’ composition. With dancers, band and audience all sharing the floor, attendees have the opportunity to get up close to world class performers and lose themselves in dancing along with this rhythmically explosive work.  Wallflowers, hip-shakers, Mingus buffs, music-lovers of all stripes – all are welcome in this celebration of the sensuality and power of jazz.

Tickets for The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady at Shoreditch Town Hall

NOTE: limited availability for Thu 9 Nov, Fri 10 Nov SOLD OUT

The MA/MFA Dance Performance at Trinity Laban is designed to foster a supportive and dynamic environment within which students can challenge and explore their voice, agency and artistry as dance performers. Find out more about Trinity Laban Dance Collective, the MA/MFA Dance Performance and how we support dance artists to grow their careers:


The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is supported by

Postcode Society Trust

Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and the London Community Foundation

Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation

Hinrichsen Foundation

Arts Council England


Lead image photography by Manuel Vason

Lead image design by Miriam Waldbillig/Studio Frith


The Meridian Guitar Quartet with Philip Carne

The Meridian Guitar Quartet named winner of The Carne Trust Chamber Competition 2022

In its first public held event at St John’s Smith Square, the winner of the second Carne Trust Chamber Competition, was announced on Wednesday 22 June. This high-profile chamber music prize is delivered by Trinity Laban with generous support from The Carne Trust.

The live final of the Carne Trust Chamber Competition took place on 22 June 2022, hosted for the first time after its launch was impacted by the pandemic, in front of an audience and adjudicating panel of Trinity Laban experts including Chief Executive of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Crispin Woodhead and prize-winning soprano, Ailish Tynan.

Following the preliminary rounds in March, the final saw four outstanding ensembles – The Bolling Quartet, Beyond the Bell, Meridian Guitar Quartet and Waldstein Quartet – compete for a share of the £4000 prize fund, generously supported by The Carne Trust fund.

The Meridian Guitar Quartet was named as the winner, and the Waldstein Quartet as runners-up.

The Meridian Guitar Quartet with Philip Carne

The Meridian Guitar Quartet with Philip Carne

The Meridian Guitar Quartet are currently Trinity Laban classical guitar students, Antoine Assaf, Kolja Gibbs, Bárbara Matos and Nick Tait. Since the group first formed in 2018, under the tutelage of Graham Devine, professor of guitar at Trinity Laban, they have performed around London in concerts, masterclasses and festivals, and in venues such as Southwark Cathedral, King’s Place, Wigmore Hall and King’s College. They were finalists in the inaugural Carne Trust Chamber Competition in 2020 and in the same year were awarded the John Thompson String Ensemble Prize.

Principal of Trinity Laban Professor Anthony Bowne said –

“The winning ensemble was exceptional and a testament to our students’ creativity and dedication to their art forms. Chamber music is central to a musician’s development, enabling our students to discover and realise their shared artistic ambitions. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise the collaborations that take place at Trinity Laban. Everyone who performed was outstanding and should feel immensely proud. The other judges and I enjoyed every minute.”

The competition is generously supported by The Carne Trust. Since its inception in 2006, the Trust has helped numerous talented young artists across the performing arts and supports The Carne Trust Fellowship for an Individual and The Carne Trust Ensembles in Residence at Trinity Laban.

Trustee of The Carne Trust, Philip Carne MBE commented –

“It was a pleasure to see four very different chamber ensembles perform last night showcasing the wealth and variety of talent at Trinity Laban. The Meridian Guitar Quartet are worthy winners against incredibly strong competition, and I am so pleased to support chamber music at Trinity Laban and enable these creative ensembles to come together.”

Chamber music is a central focus of training at Trinity Laban. Music students receive frequent coaching led by the internationally acclaimed staff, many of whom perform in the country’s leading ensembles. Each term instrumentalists also have the chance to work with The Carne Trust Ensembles in Residence: the Carducci Quartet, the Linos Trio and the Smith Quartet.

In addition to structured chamber music, students are also encouraged to create their own opportunities and can showcase their talents in venues such as St Martin-In-The-Fields, Wigmore Hall, St James’s Piccadilly and The Old Royal Naval College Chapel.

The full concert programme for The Carne Trust Chamber Competition is available here

Interested in finding out more about studying Music at Trinity Laban? Find out more about our programmes and departments here 

Stephen Upshaw returns to TL

This spring, the American violist is set to engage with music and dance students in a series of projects, concerts and workshops

Having held the Trinity Laban Carne Trust Junior Fellowship 2016-17, accomplished violist Stephen Upshaw returns to the conservatoire this spring to inspire the next generation of talented young musicians.

Stephen is a noted interpreter of contemporary music as both a soloist and chamber musician. He is a member of the innovative Solem Quartet and London’s Riot Ensemble and has worked closely with many of today’s leading composers, including John Adams, George Benjamin and Errollyn Wallen.

With a strong interest in synthesizing music with other fields, Stephen’s expertise will be exercised during CoLab, our annual festival of collaboration that sees students and stuff from across our faculties unite for a fortnight of experimental and creative projects.

Alongside fellow Solem Quartet musicians, he will work with students from Trinity Laban’s string, composition and dance departments to co-create Bela Bartok Now: Song & Dance. The project is inspired by the Solem Quartet’s Beethoven Bartok Now concept, which uniquely reimagines classical works with music from composers of today. It will weave existing music from Bartok, Beethoven and living composer Jasmine Morris, culminating in an hour-long performance side-by-side at Blackheath Halls (17 Feb).

In April, the quartet will return to coach chamber groups and give a lunchtime concert.

Stephen will also work with Trinity Laban composition students over four workshops in spring to create new works for viola, cello, mezzo-soprano and soprano, alongside his colleagues from the Riot Ensemble. And he will share his understanding of contemporary music with string students in a masterclass at the end of February.

Reflecting on his relationship with Trinity Laban, Stephen shares –

“My time at Trinity Laban as a Carne Trust Junior Fellow was an invaluable period of discovery with the amazing support and resource that the College had to offer.

“I’m so excited to be returning to Trinity Laban for so many projects this year. My career is now focused on chamber music and contemporary music – both aspects I’ll be exploring through the upcoming projects with Riot Ensemble and The Solem Quartet.

“I can’t wait to work with the wonderful students in string, composition and dance departments across the next few months and am thrilled to once again return to the Trinity Laban community.”


Image credit: Matthew Johnson

Chamber Music Kickstarter Week 2021

Chamber Music Kickstarter Week 2021

Now in its second year, Trinity Laban’s week dedicated to Chamber Music runs from 1 – 5 November 2021 with a focus on chamber music coaching, rehearsing and performances.

Chamber music is the backbone of conservatoire teaching and learning, and the week kickstarts a whole range of projects and sets up ensembles who will continue to work together, collaborate and develop over the course of the year.  In keeping with Trinity Laban style, the week is a chance for students to work in creative and collaborative ways, and to make connections with staff and peers to enable artistic development.

The Carne Trust Guest Visiting Artists The Piatti Quartet will give a masterclass with students and a public performance on Weds 3 Nov, and on Thurs 4 Nov two concerts at Blackheath Halls will showcase Side by Side performances developed during the week.

Free performance highlights of the week include:

Tues 2 Nov 13.00

Chamber Week Lunchtime Concert: Lindsey Eastham leads Percussion Ensembles at the Old Royal Naval College

Weds 3 Nov 13.00

Open Rehearsal for Schutz Weihnachtshistorie at the Queen’s House, Royal Museums Greenwich

Weds 3 Nov 18.00

Carne Trust Guest Visiting Artists: The Piatti Quartet

The Piatti Quartet are one of the most distinguished quartets of their generation. Prizewinners at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, they have performed in major venues and festivals around the UK and internationally. The Quartet will work with Trinity Laban students in a masterclass in the afternoon, followed by a public concert in the Peacock Room at King Charles Court.

Thur 4 Nov 13.05

Chamber Week Lunchtime Concert: Trombone Choir with Graham Lee at St Alfege

Thur 4 Nov 17.00 & 19.00

Chamber Side by Side Performances at Blackheath Halls

A chance to hear Side By Side projects from the week in two concerts, featuring Head of Strings Professor Nic Pendlebury, Ofer Falk, Michael Bochmann, Rivka Golani, Leon Bosch and Gabriella Dall’Olio

Fri 5 Nov 13.00

Chamber Week Lunchtime Concert: Chamber Side by Side at Old Royal Naval College Chapel 



Chamber Music Week 2020

Trinity Laban’s first Chamber Music Week runs from from 19-23 Oct, and is a week-long focus on chamber music with coaching, rehearsing and performances.

The week features the final of The Carne Trust Chamber Competition 2020, with four superb ensembles competing for the coveted prize. It will be held in front of a socially distanced audience on Weds 21 Oct, adjudicated by a panel of Trinity Laban Heads of Department chaired by Alan Davey CBE, Controller, BBC Radio 3.  

Other highlights include a concert by Carne Trust Ensemble in Residence, Carducci Quartet on Thu 24 Oct and a series of livestreamed performances and showings on Fri 23 Oct, including a Chamber Side-by-Side performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet and a performance from Trinity Laban vocal ensemble, Rubythroat.

Thursday 22 Oct 2020

Carducci Quartet


Carne Trust Ensemble in Residence The Carducci Quartet return to Trinity Laban for a live concert with a socially distanced audience, and also streamed on Trinity Laban Facebook Live. The Quartet will present Beethoven’s ‘Serioso’ quartet, along with Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 9.

Great Hall, Blackheath Hall

Free Admission but ticketed, must be booked in advance

Book now 

Watch live on Facebook Live

Friday 23 Oct 2020

Chamber Music Week Performances 14.00 – 21.00

Following an intensive week of rehearsal, coaching and chamber activity, a range of student groups from the Wind, Brass, Percussion, Piano, Vocal and String Departments will perform in the Great Hall, Blackheath Hall. A different performance will be streamed on Youtube starting on the hour, each hour throughout the afternoon, culminating in a Chamber Side-by-Side performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet with Stephanie Gonley, at 20.00.

Watch Live on our Youtube Channel

Livestream Performance No. 1


Percussion Ensemble

Led by postgraduate percussionist Lindsey Eastham, and coached by award-winning marimbist and percussionist, Calum Huggan, Trinity Laban students kick off our hourly series of livestream concerts with a performance of chamber music for tuned percussion.

Livestream Performance No. 2



Directed by Linda Hirst

Rubythroat, Trinity Laban’s  chamber vocal group, present a work-in-progress performance of repertoire by female composers. Rubythroat is directed ex-Swingle Singer and former Head of Vocal Studies, Linda Hirst, and is currently working towards a recording project in December.

Miranda Ostler, soprano
Sally Carr, soprano
Madeleine Todd, soprano
Hester Dart, alto
Alex Akhurst, tenor
Charles Eastwood, tenor
Adam Brown, bass

Livestream Performance No. 3


Creative Strings

Led by Joe Townsend

Trinity Laban is dedicated to innovation and collaborative practice. Each year, Joe Townsend, Head of Trinity Laban’s new BA programme in Music Performance and Industry leads an elective group of string students, across all programmes and years, to explore improvisation, folk/world music, collaborative composition, and extended techniques.

In this livestream performance, a group of Creative Strings students will demonstrate their work in progress from the week.

Livestream Performance No. 4


Wind Sextet

A postgraduate wind group present a short performance of music worked on over the week, coached by Head of Wind Chamber Music, Michael Whight

Megan Storer, flute      
Brandon Hao, oboe      
Ben Mason, clarinet     
Gabriela Taylor, bassoon           
Chris Collins, horn         
Alex Lyon, bass clarinet

Livestream Performance No. 5


Piano Quintet

Schubert Trout Quintet

Coached by Head of String Chamber Music, David Kenedy, 5 outstanding postgraduate students come together to perform Schubert’s famous Trout Quintet

Mario Miralles, piano
Hannah Littlechild, violin
Marco Scandurra, viola
Ludovico Colombo, cello
Alexander Ferkey, double bass

Livestream Performance No. 6


Brass Ensemble

Trinity Laban brass department features with a performance from a student brass dectet, who have been coached through the week by Superbrass trombonist, Philip White

Edmund Habershon, trumpet   
Ethan McInerney, trumpet        
Jesse Musson, trumpet
Ali Hancorn trumpet    
Simon Jelley, horn                        
Salvador Garcia, horn
Rhodri Thomas, trombone       
Ben Wakley, trombone
Hannah Roberts, trombone       
Owain Davies, bass trombone  
Chris Price, tuba             

Livestream Performance No. 7


Chamber Side-by-Side with Stephanie Gonley, violin

Mendelssohn Octet

Closing our series of livestream performances in rousing fashion, Stephanie Gonley, first violinist with the Nash Ensemble, leads a Chamber Side-by-Side project in a performance of Mendelssohn’s renowned Octet.

Stephanie Gonley, violin
Greta Papa, violin
Daniel Pukach, violin
Camille Buitenhuis, violin
Natalia Solis Paredes, viola
Peter Fenech, viola
Cristina Cooper, cello
Meg Allen, cello

Old Royal Naval College

Orchidea Duo perform at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel

Free lunchtime concert at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel on Fri 16 Oct, 13.05 

Orchidea Duo

Eleanor Rosser-Smythe soprano

Natalie Molloy piano


PROGRAMME: “A Celebration of Music and Song”.


Mahler Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?                  

Mahler Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grünen Wald 

Bach Prelude in G Major No. 15 (BWV 884).      

Liszt  S’il est un charmant gazon                               

Chaminade La lune paresseuse                                   

Greig Nocturne, Op. 54 

Britten Early One Morning 

Britten The last rose of Summer 

Rachmaninov Prelude in G major Opus 32

Traditional Pokarekare Ana (New Zealand Love Song)

Harnick & Baker Someone is Sending me Flower


Eleanor is currently training for an MMus in vocal performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance under Linda Hirst and Eamonn Mulhall, where she is generously supported by the Harpenden Music Foundation. Eleanor’s musical education began at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, followed by a move to the Junior Royal Academy of Music where she specialised in both voice and flute.

After graduating from Durham University with a degree in History, Eleanor regularly cantored at Westminster Cathedral and also performed roles including Anne Brontë in Polly Teale’s /Brontë/ (The Barn Theatre) and Kerry in John Finnemore’s /Wysinnwyg/ (Room One Theatre Company).

While training, performance credits include Martin Creed’s Toast (Tate Britain and Hauser & Wirth Gallery), The Director (/Der Schauspieldirektor/, Puzzle Piece Opera), Vicki (A Christmas Carol, Trinity Laban Opera) and multiple roles with Trinity Laban Opera Scenes including Barbarina (/Le Nozze di Figaro/) and Echo (/Ariadne auf Naxos/).

Eleanor recently performed in a masterclass with renowned soprano Susan Bullock. Other recital credits include The King’s Chamber Orchestra, Puzzle Piece Opera and London-based vocal trio Aukana.

Old Royal Naval College Chapel / Free

Black History Month concerts

Black History Month 2020 and Black Culture 365 at Trinity Laban

We are marking Black History Month 2020 as the springboard for a year of activity celebrating black history and culture in the arts in 2021. We are committed to a year-round programme of work celebrating Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse creativity in our artforms of music, dance and musical theatre.

For October 2020, we are presenting two lunchtime concerts with pre-concert talks and performances celebrating the music of black composers and performers. Events will be led by selected students who will work with our Learning and Participation Team and a dedicated mentor to create, present and perform their programme.

Due to the recent change to Covid-19 Tier 2 restrictions in London, as of Sat 17 Oct, public concerts at St Alfege Church will be suspended. As a result, Trinity Laban’s Black History Month concert events will be live streamed to an online audience only. Please join us at 13:05 on Thu 22 and Thu 29 October to enjoy the concerts from home.

The concerts will be livestreamed on our Youtube channel.


Thu 22 Oct

Aanu Sodipe (violin) mentored by Kevin Le Gendre leads a concert featuring her own arrangements of traditional Nigerian folk songs

Rev. Joshua Jesse Ransome-Kuti (1855 – 1930) Ọbangiji

Aanu Sodipe (arrangement of traditional Yoruba folk song) Ta la ba fi Ọ we

Aanu Sodipe (arrangement of traditional Yoruba folk song) Wẹrẹ

Aanu Sodipe Abimọ ko gbọn

Aanu Sodipe Baba mi

View the concert programme

Thu 29 Oct

Isreal (Ọlá) Akindipe (Clarinet) and Amy Wood (Flute) mentored by Richard Henry perform:

Gabriel Adedeji Àjò

Adam Salim arranged by Gabriel Adedeji Malaika

William Grant Still Pastorela

William Grant Still Folk Suite No 2

These concerts have been made possible with a generous grant from Royal Borough of Greenwich. This year’s theme Our Heritage: Celebration and Achievements forms part of the borough’s activities for Black History Month 365, not limiting the recognition of Black History to just October, but 365 days a year.

Future Trinity Laban plans include public activities from our Musical Theatre department, Faculty of Dance and a celebration in 2021 to recognise the historic importance and contribution of John Blanke, a Black trumpeter, who was a regular musician at the courts of both Henry VII and Henry VIII on the site of our Faculty of Music in Greenwich.

View the 29 Oct programme