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Alumni Roundup February 2018

Mon 19 March 2018

Our monthly roundup of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

This February, it was fantastic to have so many alumni back to mentor projects for CoLab, Trinity Laban’s annual two-week cross-faculty celebration of collaboration. Alumni included Marcella Puppini, Nick Morrish, Natasha Lohan, Zoe Georgallis, Will Scott, Femi Koleoso, Phil Meadows, and Hannah Cameron.

Also working on exciting projects during February was John Chambers, the composer and sound designer of Dermot McLaughlin Production Ltd’s adaptation of Turn of the Screw. The show is touring the UK after premiering at Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Excitingly, alumnus John Powell’s score for the new Star Wars film Solo was previewed in a teaser trailer during the prestigious American Superbowl.

Composition alumnus Cassie Kinoshi was selected as one of six emerging young composers for the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Composers Scheme 2018. While Cassie embarks on her career, composer Dai Fujikura’s life-time work was celebrated with a portrait concert at London’s Wigmore Hall. Dai spoke to South London Press about composing and his love of London.

February has also been a great month for our vocal alumni. Soprano Susie Buckle returned to Opera Up Close’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute for their UK tour, reprising her well-reviewed role as Pamina.

Fellow alumnus and baritone John Savournin received a four-star review from The Reviews Hub for his ‘outstanding’ portrayal of Leporello in Opera North’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Soprano Victoria Oruwari progressed to the final of BBC singing competition with a twist ‘All Together Now’, and music graduate Georgi Mottram guest starred in Live At Zedel alongside Dominic Ferris.

In other music news, February saw the release of new material from alumni. Stjepan Hauser, who released his latest video as part of duo 2CELLOS. Bas Jan, the London trio built around multi-instrumentalist and alumnus Serafina Steer, released their latest album on 23 Feb. It features fellow alumnus, violinist, bassist and vocalist Emma Smith.

In February, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra announced they had recruited six founding members for a new disabled-led ensemble, including percussionist and alumnus Philip Howells. The ensemble will be conducted by James Rose.

The National Dance Awards took place on 19 February and several alumni were recognised for their talents. West-end show 42nd Street, which features musical theatre alumnus Zoe Rogers, received the Outstanding Company Award. Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures won both Outstanding Contemporary Performance (Ashley Shaw’s performance in The Red Shoes) and the Ninette de Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance, awarded to Associate Artist and theatre designer, Lez Botherston.

Continuing the dance success, alumnus Caitlin McAfee was appointed Artistic Director of Baltimore based dance company BlueShift Dance. Following the BBC talent search competition Time to Shine, dance alumnus AJ Bentley takes the lead in new stage-show The Band, based on the story of Take That. The show is currently touring until 2019.

Alumnus James Pett is a dancer with Company Wayne McGregor. The company’s latest work Autobiography, an extraordinary show based on the sequence of the choreographer’s genome, received a brilliant review from Culture Whisper for their performance at Laban Theatre: This potpourri of lived experience showcases the extreme athleticism and artistry of the dancers’.

This month, dance alumnus Kate Elswit has published her new book Theatre & Dance, which explores the interdependence between these two art-forms. Her first book, Watching Weimar Dance (2014), received both the Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research and honourable mention for the Joe A. Callaway Prize.

Also discussing dance was Maria Falconer, a dance alumnus who is now a commercial photographer and video practitioner. She was interviewed by the Royal Photographic Society’s publication the RPS Journal about how to plan a dance shoot.

Continuing their recent achievements, jazz alumni have enjoyed another exceptionally successful month.

The Jazz FM award nominations were announced in February and featured several alumni: Joe Armon Jones for Jazz Innovation of the Year award; both Nubya Garcia, and Ezra Collective (Joe Armon Jones, Femi Koleoso and student Dylan Jones) for Breakthrough Act of the Year; and both Ezra Collective and ensemble Dinosaur (Laura Jurd, Elliot Galvin, Corrie Dick, Conor Chaplin) for Jazz Act of the Year.

Not only was Nubya Garcia nominated for a Jazz FM award, but the rising-star jazz saxophonist was singled out by The Guardian as ‘One to Watch’ in 2018. Garcia has joined multiple alumni for new compilation We Out Here, released in February. The album showcases London’s bright young jazz scene and is a ‘landmark collaborative moment for British jazz’.

February has seen two more album releases from Jazz alumni. Award winning Japanese singer Yuko Yokoi launched her debut album Verde and Elliot Galvin released his third record The Influencing Machine. Galvin plays keyboards and electronics, joined by Tom McCredie on bass and guitar and alumnus Corrie Dick on drums. Galvin was interviewed by London Jazz News ahead of touring the new release.

Jazz alumni also received great reviews for performances in February. Saxophonist Camilla George played Ronnie Scott’s, receiving four-stars from John Fordham inThe Guardian, and London Jazz News enjoyed Scoreys’ gig at 2Nrothdown which ‘gave a sense of hope and optimism about the future of jazz in Britain’. The band features Chelsea Carmichael and Daniel Casimir.

Sadly, February also saw the passing of Caroline Brown (1954 – 2018) aged 64. The cellist and founder of the Hanover Band received her MA in music education from Trinity Laban, where she studied 1998-99.

Don’t miss:

Emma Watkinson will be performing in English Touring Opera’s revival of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi from 2 March.

Jazz alumni, including Leo Richardson, Nubya Garcia, Moses Boyd, Samuel Eagles and Ezra Collective, playing at Love Supreme Festival 2018.

Transitions Dance Company Tour 2018. The triple bill features new commissions by alumni Jarkko Partanen and Hagit Yakira.