Leeds Conservatoire partners with Geraldine Connor Foundation

By Kath Hartley


Leeds Conservatoire is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Geraldine Connor Foundation(GCF). The partnership seeks to enhance opportunities for young people across Leeds to engage in high quality music and drama training.

As part of a shared commitment to reach talented young people in the city, the two organisations will be collaborating in its outreach activities – sharing resources, facilities and developing a range of opportunities and masterclasses to support and nurture new work and talent.

The Geraldine Connor Foundation was established in 2012 to continue the work and vision of Geraldine Connor by bringing people together through arts and culture. They provide global perspectives across many artforms including music, theatre, dance, spoken word poetry and visual arts, reaching around 800 young people every year through projects that include workshops, performances and mentoring programmes.

Rowan Lewis playing piano

Through this partnership, Leeds Conservatoire will work with GCF to support their young musicians. Earlier this year, Leeds Conservatoire worked with one of Geraldine Connor Foundation’s young musicians, Rowan Lewis - a self-taught classical pianist, recording a performance of his original composition in one of Leeds Conservatoire’s specialist performance spaces. The two organisations have also come together to deliver a masterclass with British Producer Glen Scott, with plans to collaborate on further projects. 

Geraldine Connor Foundation’s Creative Associate Artists will support activities on the conservatoire’s BA Acting and BA Actor Musician programmes, giving students training at the conservatoire direct access to working with professionals in the industry. The GCF Creative Associate Artists will also offer input into the development of the conservatoire’s brand new Performing Arts Masters Degrees, which have just launched this week. 

Patsy Gilbert, Vice Principal and Director of School of Performance at Leeds Conservatoire said; “We are thrilled to partner with the Geraldine Connor Foundation, who share our ambition to increase access for young people from all backgrounds to high quality music and creative arts education. We look forward to working together to support local emerging artists and to develop and promote talent within our community.”  

Selina McGonagle, Director of the Geraldine Connor Foundation said; “We are really pleased to establish a partnership with Leeds Conservatoire. Through working together, we will be able to provide young people from the wider community with access to high-quality resources to help them realise their musical ambitions. We are looking forward to supporting a diverse range of courses and masterclasses and helping more people from diverse backgrounds to engage with Leeds Conservatoire. Working together we will be able to provide professional opportunities to more young people across Leeds.”

By Kath Hartley

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