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Guernsey Music Centre musicians to perform in London with Southbank Sinfonia as part of an exciting series of musical opportunities

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Friday 08 March 2024

On Wednesday 6th March, Guernsey Music Centre students had the exciting opportunity to perform alongside the Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra as part of the long-term collaborative initiative that exists between Guernsey Music Centre and the well-known London orchestra.

Over the course of a two-day visit, Guernsey students also received coaching from members of the orchestra and worked with different conductors, culminating in playing in the concert alongside the Southbank Sinfonia at St John's Waterloo.

Tim Wright, Head of Guernsey Music Service commented on this flourishing relationship:

"Guernsey Music Centre has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Southbank Sinfonia for many years. This has been in place since the Guernsey Consortium of supporters, led by local resident Susan Lloyd was formed to sponsor a 'Guernsey' chair in the orchestra in 2010. This enabled musicians from the orchestra to regularly visit Guernsey and work with our young musicians. This relationship was further strengthened in 2021 when recipients of the newly formed Guernsey Music Bursary, which helps students from Guernsey who are studying music degrees at university or conservatoire were offered mentoring with the Southbank Sinfonia. This relationship is now further strengthened with the Southbank Sinfonia inviting current Guernsey Music Centre students to benefit from coaching and performance opportunities with the orchestra. This is a wonderful opportunity for our young musicians who will travel to London to take part in this concert. Our link with the Southbank Sinfonia enables us to continue to offer the very highest standards of music education and musical opportunities for our young people, and we are committed to continuing to grow these opportunities in the future."

Simon Over, Music Director, of the Southbank Sinfonia commented:

"Southbank Sinfonia at St John's Smith Square values and is very proud of the invaluable partnership it has with Guernsey Music Service, very much due to the tireless efforts and generosity of Guernsey resident Susan Lloyd together with her Guernsey Consortium of supporters and the inspiring Head of the Music Service, Tim Wright.  We're delighted that this rich collaboration is now taking on a new dimension with a London performance and are much looking forward to hosting the quartet for coaching with the young professionals of Southbank Sinfonia and playing side-by-side with them, [with each section led by members of the excellent Berkeley Ensemble (which came out of Southbank Sinfonia)] accompanying world renowned pianist Alessio Bax (who is flying in from New York for the concert) in Grieg's much-loved Piano Concerto.   London is without doubt the Classical Music capital of the world and this sold-out concert is taking place on the Southbank, the fulcrum of London's spectacular music making."

In addition to this opportunity, the Music Service also has a large number of professional musicians visiting Guernsey in the next few weeks. In March, there will be visits from Simon Jones, the Head of Strings at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Stephane Rancourt, Professor of Oboe at the Royal Northern College of Music, Chris Hoyle, Head of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, baritone Darwin Prakash, accompanist Rob Bottriell and international clarinet soloist Julian Bliss, all of whom will be working with groups and individuals at Guernsey Music Centre.

Mr Wright added:

"Having a series of visitors of this calibre to come to Guernsey and work with our young musicians is inspirational for our young people. The fact that we have been contacted by many of the institutions these people represent for them to come and work with us is testament to the high standard of musical education on offer in Guernsey and I am thrilled that our young people will be able to benefit from the expertise of these visiting professionals."

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