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Trinity Laban November Alumni Round-Up

Tue 4 December 2018

Our monthly round-up of some of the successes for Trinity Laban alumni.

November has been a month of competition victories for our alumni. Vocal alumnus Madeleine Bradbury-Rance won the 2018 London Song Festival Schubert Song Prize, sponsored by the Schubert Society. She receives £500 prize money and the opportunity to give two recitals in 2019.

The prize, adjudicated by Royal College of Music vocal professor Sally Burgess, was presented following a masterclass at the Austrian Cultural Forum featuring 10 participants selected from over 100 applicants. Bradbury-Rance performed with duo partner and fellow Trinity Laban alumnus, pianist Panaretos Kyriatzidis.

One week later at the same venue, Kyriatzidis performed alongside vocal alumnus Erika Mädi Jones, winning the 2018 British Art Song Competition and £800 prize money. They were one of ten duos under scrutiny in a masterclass led by Roger Vignoles, one of Britain’s leading and best-loved Song pianists, and a familiar face at the top international recital venues.

Rosemary Brandt, alumnus and long term member of the Faculty of Dance, was named Inspirational Lecturer at College, University or Conservatoire in this year’s One Dance UK Awards at a gala ceremony in Leeds. Since 2005 she has held the dual roles of Senior Lecturer in Choreological Studies and Undergraduate Studies Year One Co-ordinator at Trinity Laban, and has steered generations of students through their studies and into successful careers as dance artists.

Meanwhile, dance alumnus Angélique Keller won the first Infographic Contest at the International Association for Dance, Medicine and Science (IADMS) conference in Helsinki.

The task was to submit an infographic on the topic of enhancing either health, wellbeing, training or performance in dance. Keller’s submission condensed the knowledge she had gained while writing her MAS Dance Science thesis – the effects of a 10-week plyometric intervention programme upon jump performance in professional ballet dancers. The infographic will be published by IADMS.

Two Trinity Laban alumni, Oscar Jerome and Nubya Garcia, are among 16 recipients of 2018’s Momentum Music Fund, selected by a panel of industry experts. They will be granted £5,000 – £15,000 to support the writing, recording, production and promotion of new albums.

Oscar Jerome commented,

“I’m really grateful to get this Momentum Music funding. It has come at a crucial time when I need the backing to get a body of work together.”

The scheme is funded by PRS Foundation, PPL, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government Spotify. It has previously funded, among others, poet Kate Tempest, composer Anna Meredith and the Public Service Broadcasting collective.

There have been two debut album releases from our alumni. Jazz vocal alumnus Jessica Radcliffe released her debut album, Remembrance, at the end of November, followed by an album launch at Pizza Express, Soho on 2nd December. The album includes songs she began composing in her final year of study at Trinity Laban, marking the end of the First World War centenary.

Based on an in-depth study of music, poetry, reports and letters, including poems by Wilfred Owen and Robert Laurence Binyon alongside poignant speeches made by Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, the album was completed following an emotional visit to the Western Front. Radcliffe explained,

“I needed to walk in their footsteps and see all of the places I’d been reading about … come to life. I wanted to present something entirely focussed on the humanitarian struggles during the conflict.”

Her moving tribute was released on the Ubuntu Music label on 30th November.

Harmonica virtuoso and vocal alumnus Eva Hurt self-released her debut album, My First Harmonica Album, a collection of her arrangements of Bach, Mozart, Boccherini, Shubert, Shostakovich and many more.  She explains,

“It’s about promoting high quality music … to a younger audience, but I know that adults have been buying it for themselves and listening to it in their cars, even in the office… This music is for everyone with a natural sense of childhood adventure.”

She has won prizes at eight competitions internationally including the World Harmonica Festival in Germany and the National Harmonica League Competition in Bristol. She encourages young people to play and study the harmonica and is the author of many music tutor books.

Three Trinity Laban Musical Theatre alumni, Leo Rowell, Morgan Wilcox and Phillip Murch, are performing in the 2018 Christmas Spectacular at Thursford Collection Museum in Norfolk. The show runs until 23rd December.

To date, the annual Spectacular has attracted over 5.4 million visitors and is the largest Christmas show in the country. Set in the magical surroundings of mechanical organs and fairground carousels with a cast of 130 professional singers and dancers, the show culminates with a flock of white doves flying across the auditorium.

Dance alumnus Cressida Bonas will play Sheila Caffell, a leading role in ITV’S new drama White House Farm, inspired by a grisly murder case in the 1980s. The show is set for release in early 2019 and Bonas will appear alongside Alfie Allen from HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Our alumni continue to lead in their fields abroad. Alumnus violinist Marta Ramírez García Mina is a specialist in historical interpretation from the Baroque to the Romantic period. In early November, she gave three days of masterclass workshops at the Pablo Sarasate Professional Conservatory in Navarra, Spain.

Earlier in November, floorwork specialist and alumnus Sofia Casprini gave a series of dance workshops at Lambrate Space in Milan, Italy. Her practice focusses on dynamism, functionality and practicality of the body in movement, considering the dancer as an artist, but also and above all, as an athlete.

Casprini emphasises the importance of training the body aerobically to increase its physical endurance and avoid injuries.  She collaborates with companies including Scottish Dance Theatre, Danish Dance Theater, Limon Dance Company and Michael Clark Dance Company, alongside choreographers such as Marina Collard, Zoi Dimitriou, Dam Van Huynh and Gary Clark.

The Blackheath International Chamber Music Festival, running from 27th October – 4th November at All Saints’ Church, opened with a  gala concert featuring violin alumnus and current Trinity Laban professorial staff member Lana Trotovsek. She performed the first violin part in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons along with lesser known works by the composer written for the girls and young women of an orphanage called La Pietà in Venice where, unusually for the time, the girls received an extensive musical education.

Dance alumnus ‘The Famous’ Lauren Barri Holstein gave a research seminar in early November at the University of Sussex on her work Notorious. The seminar was entitled Witch-Bitches, The Birth (and Never-Ending Resurrection) of Capitalism, and Pop-Culture’s Desperation for Its Own Exorcism’. She writes,

“My practice generally situates itself on the mucky margins of pop… From old hag, to sorceress, to sexy baby, I embody a self-exorcising monster that is both desired and denied, punished and coveted, and, perhaps, reveals the monstrosities of pop-feminism itself.”

Finally, drummer and jazz alumnus Femi Koleoso appeared in a BBC Ideas video about what can be done to discourage youth violence. He commented,

“We’ll never stop youth crime unless we give young people a future they can believe in.

… One of the things that made such a massive difference to my life was people that were planting long-sighted visions into me.

… Think of the bigger picture. Think about the schools in your borough that are cutting extra-curricular activities left, right and centre because of lack of funding, and think, ‘how can I go into those places and help bridge that gap and address that issue?’”

Koleoso is the drummer with Ezra Collective, Jorja Smith and Nubya Garcia.



Projection Dance Company – The Zoo

FRI 7 DEC 19.45h
£20, £15 for students
Lilian Baylis Studio
Rosebery Avenue, London

James Pett, Trinity Laban alumnus and dancer with Company Wayne McGregor, will be performing at Lilian Baylis Studio. He will be showing his own work and performing in a new piece called The Zoo by Australian choreographer Tim Podesta, exploring the divide between society’s middle-class and its outcasts.