Spring term 2020

Welcome back to a relatively early start of term on 11th January. Not much time to shake off the Christmas rest and recreation! Please note that our Junior Musicianship classes will start this term a week later on 18th January.

The application deadline for the YMC Concerto prize is on 18th January. Please don’t be late. On 9th May our students will play concertos they have studied in front of our distinguished adjudicators. As always the event will take  place in the HGS Free Church, Central Square, NW11 7AG. Please come any time between 1.30 pm and 9.30 pm (even if you are not taking part yourself) and listen to this thrilling event (entry free). The winner of each age group will have the opportunity to play their concerto with our YMC orchestra in the Prizewinners concert on 23rd May at 7 pm in the HGS Free Church. We especially recommend that families with beginner instrumentalists should come and listen as it will be a great encouragement for any young musician. 

YMC’s Chamber Orchestra will perform in the famous St Martin in the Fields church (Trafalgar Square) on 17th February at 1pm. Please bring friends and family to this very prestigious event (entry is free). All chamber orchestra members need to be available for this day.

Assessment day will be coming up on 14th June. All string players need to attend. This is a very important day! It decides which orchestra, chamber group or singing group students will join for the next academic year. Changing orchestra during the academic year is only done in very exceptional circumstances and it should be discussed with both or all three main orchestral conductors. To have a better understanding to what is involved in orchestra playing please do read the orchestral skills information from Nigel, which you can find online. If you do decide to join a chamber ensemble for the next academic year please be aware that this is a commitment for the entire year. Our chamber ensembles can only function if every player feels committed to their group.

Some of our ensembles are taking part in this year’s Spring Grove Festival. The first round will take place on Sunday 8th March. If your group reaches the finals these will take place either 15th or 22nd March. All participating groups are up on the noticeboard. Later in the year all ensembles will also have the chance to participate in the North London Music Festival on 2nd May.

We are sorry to see Greg Emfietzis leave us after making a wonderful contribution to music making at YMC. Greg has been our long standing teacher for Junior Musicianship and the Introduction orchestra. Greg’s composition projects now require his full energy and we wish all the best for his further career. 

(photo by Niaz Maleknia)

We are delighted to welcome Utako Toyama who is taking over the Junior Musicianship classes. Utako studied at Berklee College of Music with scholarship in 2011. She is at home in many musical styles and is a successful singer-song writer and bandleader of SkyBridge. She has been performing at events such as Women Music Network concert at BPC as the special Alumna, concert at Boston consul general’s house, Hard Rock Café, Boston Japan Festival and Harvard University. Her passion is to spread the message of diversity, equality and world peace through her compositions, performances and workshops. 

 Henry Hargreaves will be conducting the Introduction Orchestra from this term. Many of us know Henry who is a dedicated and valued member of staff at YMC. He is also an excellent cellist. Henry has won many prizes, including the May Mukle Prize (Academy cello prize) and an award from the Raphael Sommer Foundation. He has been invited to perform concertos in Spain, France, Italy and around the UK in venues including Fairfield Halls. Henry will be starting the term with an exciting arrangement of Mattachins by Warlock.

YMC is very grateful to the British soprano Alison Smart Fisher who will be teaching the voice/aural classes and Choir while Ami is taking time off to be with her family.  Alison studied Classics at Clare College, Cambridge and later  Singing at the Royal Northern College of Music and at Trinity College of Music, London. After 22 years in the BBC Singers she is delighted to have been appointed  Musical Director of De Merc Chamber Choir. Alison is also director of Music at St Mary-at-Finchley Parish Church, London.