Leeds Conservatoire Partners with Music in the Round

By Lauren Bickerdike


Music in the Round is the leading national promoter of chamber music, with a year-round programme of hundreds of events for people of all ages. 

Leeds Conservatoire has been working with the Music in the Round team on a number of programmes and initiatives throughout the month of May, and is looking forward to collaborating further on future events. 

Image: Young musicians participating in Music in the Round's Bridge Weekend. 

Welcoming the partnership, Edward Mackay, Head of Programmes at Music in the Round said: 

"We're so pleased to be working with Leeds Conservatoire in our efforts to change the face of chamber music. One strand of this, Bridging the Gap, launching in the autumn, will work with wind musicians to nurture, support and train talented young musicians drawn from backgrounds underrepresented in chamber music.

We have already begun working with students of Leeds Conservatoire, offering coaching, training in learning and participation work, industry advice and collaboration with our players, guest tutors and musicians. We are looking to find a new wind ensemble performing at the highest standard as well as being role models for young musicians who may never have seen or heard themselves represented within the world of chamber music.

In partnership with specialist organisations, including Leeds Conservatoire and Black Lives in Music, we have developed a two-year programme designed to support their musical, participatory and professional development and are seeking to build opportunities for musicians to live, work and thrive in the north.

We hope to contribute towards the evolution of chamber music as audiences and performers grow and become more reflective of contemporary northern England." 

This month, Leeds Conservatoire has been involved with two Music in The Round events; The Sheffield Chamber Music Festival and The Bridge Weekend.  

The Sheffield Chamber Music Festival was a celebration of Chamber Music, which included show-stopping concerts and performances curated by the award-winning composer Helen Grime MBE. Students were invited to attend workshops, watch concerts and perform at thefestival, as part of our partnership with Music in the Round, onWednesday 18 May.

Audiences enjoyed performances from students Sofia Pan, Faith Ruddick, Matthew Gray, Dolci Angeli (Beth Winteringham, Lydia Palmer, Emily Pehrson and Ella Duffy) and Kyra Kahlo (Jay Clelford and Liam Mason) during two pop-up sessions held at The Crucible Theatre.  

Check out some highlights from the day in this Shef News video:

Classical student Sofia Pan shared her thoughts on the day:  

"The festival was absolutely brilliant and very well organised! I learned so much from the composition workshop, and I thoroughly enjoyed performing my compositions and listening to the amazing Ensemble 360 concert." 

Prior to the festival Leeds Conservatoire was involved with Music in the Round’s Bridge weekend, a fully funded two-day programme for wind and horn musicians aged between 18-28 from underrepresented communities. 

Leeds Conservatoire Classical student Keana Miller took part in the weekend, and described her experience: 


Image: Keana participating in the Bridge Weekend.

“We took part in ensemble workshops coached by Robert Plane of Ensemble 360, and got the chance to work as part of a sax duo with the help of Sameeta Gahir of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

We had the chance to speak with agents of well-established artists within the classical music industry and they told us about what they look for in artists and how they support their clients in finding performance or recording opportunities. We participated in a workshop on play and exploration, led by Naomi Atherton of Ensemble 360, involving improvising with both percussive instruments and our own instruments.

We held an informal concert for the public at the Winter Gardens in Sheffield before finally attending a session with Roger Wilson talking about his work with Black Lives in Music and career as a musician. 

I think it's really important to participate in networking projects like The Bridge scheme, because it's such a great way to make connections. I was able to meet a range of different wind musicians from all around the country." 

To learn more about Music in the Round, head to the Music in the Round website.  

By Lauren Bickerdike

Final rehearsals are well underway for tonight's special concert that sees Leeds Conservatoire Orchestra perform si… https://t.co/s6WKQHLPWg
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