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February Alumni Roundup

Tue 2 March 2021

A roundup of February’s news and projects from TL alumni.

In the face of ongoing restrictions for many, digital performances continued to entertain audiences this month .

Musical Theatre alum Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy performed in the cast of The Colour Purple, streamed from Curve Theatre Leicester. Trombonist Rosie Turton’s concert was live streamed on Jazz re:freshed, while fellow alum Lana Trotovsek performed a programme of Beethoven streamed from Wigmore Hall.

Social Convention, co-founded by Cimeon Ellerton, premiered their digital ghost opera Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage, described as a “memetic hologram of the endless purgatory of celebrity afterlife” and Masshysteria’s mh4v&a_1.prologue was presented as part of the V&A Friday late series.

Valentine’s Day saw the Stradivarius Trio perform a programme of love classics, while the Libre Piano Trio performed in a live streamed concert from Thibault Blanchard-Dubois’ Europik Music.

Alumni exhibited their creativity through innovative projects and initiatives throughout February.

Dance alum Eva Stone premiered her film Violet crumble at CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work, a contemporary dance festival that she founded and co-curates, while Janine Harrington’s video essay how sometimes we cannot believe where we have been screened in a mixed bill of film work at The Place.

Junior Trinity alum and Honorary Fellow Debbie Wiseman composed the score for SkyCinema’s To Olivia, the Roald Dahl biopic that was released in February.

LGBTQ+ History Month saw Vince Virr produce Beyond Shadows, a dance film that celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of Bradford’s LGBTQ+ community.

Double bassist Valentina Ciardelli continued to uncover the music and background of Puccini in the ten-episode project How I Met Puccini, as The Public Bungalow shared a rendition of George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’.

Emily Jenkins and Lucy McCrudden’s community organisations, Move Dance Feel and Dance Mama, both secured funding to support their important work through online programmes.

Alumni continued to share their knowledge throughout February, contributing to books, discussions and campaigns.

Dr Alan Taylor published his first book, The Imagination of Experiences, which explores musical invention, collaboration, and meaning, while Kay Charlton co-authored a chapter on music in Inspiring Primary Learners: Insights and Inspiration Across the Curriculum.

One Dance UK’s ongoing campaign surrounding dancer’s mental health included a panel discussion with Dr Lucie Clements, while fellow TL alum and current PhD candidate Uchenna Ngwe spoke in Art-Making in the Anthropocene, exploring inclusive art practices in a time of ecological crisis. Uchenna also contributed to a BBC Radio 3 documentary hosted by TL composition tutor Errollyn Wallen CBE which unearthed the story of classical music across the British Commonwealth.

Kerry Nicholls launched The Coaching Circle 2021, an initiative for early career artists providing one-to-one coaching to evolve their dance practice, and Alexandra Baybutt continued her online vocal and movement classes with Barefoot Opera.

Congratulations to our alumni who received awards and industry recognition this month.

Maria Marchant received a Classical Digital Music Award for the best Digital Project by a Musician in 2020 for her contemporary music project #7Notesin7Daysat7pm, while Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti was nominated for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dance artist Zara Sands was selected for a residency at UKNA City Takeover, where she will explore the role of the performer as choreographer and how this offers insight into the identity of an artist in front of an audience.

This February, TL alumni were featured in online articles.

An interview with Camilla George spanned a three-page spread in Jazz Quarterly, where the saxophonist also featured on the front cover. Fellow jazz alum Sheila Maurice-Grey discussed the Kokoroko writing process in Reverb, while the Carducci String Quartet uncovered how they tackled the challenges of lockdown in The Strad.

Ayanna Witter-Johnson talked about diversity in the music industry with Alternative Classical, as percussionist and Irish music specialist Kieran Leonard discussed life after TL in the Fermanagh Herald.  

Composer Dominic Veall was interviewed by Matthew Schellhorn, discussing his approach to writing sacred music, while Nubya Garcia featured in the Creativity Issue of Vogue.

Jools Holland’s late-night show featured special guest Moses Boyd, who discussed and played music with the presenter and selected his favourite clips from the show’s archives.

Protein Dance Company’s Luca Silvestrini discussed the origins and process of his work May Contain Food with The Upcoming, while Duncan Ward and London Symphony Orchestra’s pre-recorded concert was given a five-star review in the Guardian.

Coming up:

Don’t miss Yuki Negishi and The Altheus Trio in their digital concert on 26 March. Enjoy works by Bach, Chopin and Enescu.

She Said Jump, with alum Maisie Whitehead, are launching online collaborative project When Grief Came to Stay 7-13 March. Enjoy a series of six videos by six different artists from circus to song, illustration, clown and new writing and free online talks and workshops throughout the week.

Len Phillips Big Band, led by  Musical Director Joe Pettitt and featuring Gemma Moore and Jon Stokes, will stream their Abbey Road Studios concert on 20 March.  Expect Sinatra, Ellington and more.