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New Year Honours for Trinity Laban Staff and Alumni

Thu 2 Jan 2020

Trinity Laban is thrilled to announce that two Trinity Laban staff members have received New Year Honours. Former Director of Dance Mirella Bartrip has been awarded an OBE for services to dance/education, and Composition professor Errollyn Wallen has been upgraded to a CBE for services to music.

Mirella Bartrip retired from Trinity Laban in 2019 after a 36-year career at the Conservatoire. During this time, she established a reputation for shifting expectations of dance training and embracing new ways of understanding the intersection of art and science in dance.

Beginning her career as an hourly paid lecturer, she then held several posts rising in seniority to become Director of Dance in 2010. It is due to Mirella’s leadership that Trinity Laban’s undergraduate programme enjoys an international reputation for excellence, and equally that the conservatoire has done ground-breaking work at postgraduate level, including to advance the field of Dance Science.

Mirella was instrumental in the 2005 merger between Laban and Trinity College of Music, and in the conception of Laban’s Stirling Prize-winning building Deptford. She also formed part of the leadership team that saw Trinity Laban gain its own Taught Degree Awarding Powers and successfully enter the Research Excellence Framework for the first time.

Mirella Bartrip OBE says: I am honoured to be acknowledged for my contribution to dance education and training, and I would like to take this opportunity to recognise those with whom I have worked over a period of nearly fifty years.

For me, this award celebrates dance and those connected with it in a myriad of ways: those who have taught, performed, choreographed, produced; those who have championed and promoted dance; those who have developed dance research to ensure the continuing advancement of our art form. I thank you all for supporting me as friends and professionals throughout my life in dance, and without whom my achievements would have been slight.

Above all, I see this award as an endorsement of our continuing collective endeavour to ensure that education and training for our dance artists and practitioners of the future, remains vital and current; a distillation of creative artistic and scientific dialogues, of intellects and minds engaging with the infinite possibilities for expression and communication by the physical human body.

I look forward to continuing to contribute to these dialogues and to the art form that is Dance.”

Composer and integral member of Trinity Laban's Composition deparmtent Errollyn Wallen sees her MBE upgraded to a CBE for services to music. Errollyn is an eminent contemporary composer, who works across genres, and was the first black woman composer to have work presented at The Proms. The motto of Errollyn’s Ensemble X, 'we don’t break down barriers in music… we don’t see any', reflects her genuine, free-spirited approach and eclectic musicianship. She has been commissioned by outstanding music institutions from the BBC to the Royal Opera House, and performed her songs internationally. Errollyn has also created work for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Brodsky Quartet the Dunedin Consort, Almeida Opera, Welsh National Opera, Royal Ballet, Leipzig Ballet and The Schubert Ensemble.

Errollyn Wallen CBE says: "When I was nine years old I was walking with my Uncle Arthur from Tottenham on our way to Ridley Road Market. I told Uncle Arthur that I could hear all these strange sounds in my head but I didn’t know what to do with them. He replied that I might be a composer. I would have loved for Arthur Horatio Douglas Wallen to accompany me to Buckingham Palace to see that those strange sounds have shaped my life and have led to me receiving this honour. A huge thank you for everyone who believed in me like my uncle."

In addition, alum David Toole, an original member of Candoco Dance Company and dancer with Stopgap Dance Company, receives an OBE for services to dance and people with disabilities. Alum Dr Roy Wales receives a BEM for services to Choral Music.