University of West London-LCM
I was invited to work with the students of The London College of Music, now part of UWL, to both direct their premiere choir VOXES as well as develop small vocal/cabaret groups, (including a cappella), guiding them and giving them ideas how best to hone their own particular skills and talents. It was quite innovative for the College and was introduced by their then head of Musical Theatre, Steven Sparling. It gave the students chance to develop their individuality as members of a group and try out their own ideas both musically and texturally and to perform their work in Public.
With VOXES we performed two public concerts each year, as well as Open Days etc and students faced a challenging repertoire of both Musical Theatre, Folksong and Semi-Classical pieces. The aim was to make students aware of the learning process facing them in a Professional environment. Also to develop their understanding of learning, at speed complicated harmonies and also gaining choral discipline with different genres.
Momentum Performing Arts Academy
Whilst working at RAM i was fortunate to meet two extremely talented students, one of whom, Ben Darmanin, was with me as his coach for the whole year, as opposed to termly rotation, and after graduating has gone on to work with some of the industry's leading names. The other, Kevin Fountain, left RAM and focussed on both performing but also on developing his skills as a well respected singing teacher and is now a member of the current RAM MT staff.
I was asked by Kevin when he became involved with the Margaret Howard Theatre School in Bushey, if i would be interested in joining the staff as a vocal repertoire coach and as Choral Director, which i obviously was. Ben, who had been a student there before going to RAM was also involved with the course.
In 2019 Ben took over the College and it re-branded it as 'Momentum PAA', and the course is now focussed on offering students secure industry-led training. During the one year that MPAA has been running, Ben asa Artistic Director, Kevin as Head of MPAA,together with Vivienne Saxton (Head of Dance) have worked tirelessly to hone the course and gain affiliation with UWL and so now, from September of 2020, we will be offering a fully structured BA course.
I am thrilled to be included in the faculty of such an energised and exciting Academy.