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Music Students Collaborate with the Manchester Collective

27 September 2019

Filed Under:

Vocal & Opera Studies

It’s the first week of term and Music students hit the ground running as the Manchester Collective gave them a week of inspiring African-flavoured workshops.

The Collective took students on a musical journey of rhythm games, improvisation, yoga, choral arrangements and even spontaneous calabash lessons.

Fourth-year Cellist workshop with Abel Selaocoe

First-year Music students enjoyed vocal and rhythm sessions in the courtyard of the Anthony Hopkins Centre while basking in the mid-September sunshine.

Postgraduate Cellists explored the cello as both a strings and percussion instrument, infusing classical play with African folk rhythm and vocals.

Cellist Abel Selaocoe led the workshops, joined by percussionist Sidiki Dembele and electric bassist Alan Keary of Chesaba, working with students to develop their musical thinking ‘outside the box’.

‘The Manchester Collective visit with Abel Selaocoe was fantastic and inspiring!

Getting the chance to work with him and his colleagues was rewarding in allowing me to play out of the normal ‘classical tradition’.

It lead me to explore endless possibilities of the cello, even using it as a percussive device!’

James Mcbeth, 4th year Cellist

The students broke out into ensembles, making the most of the spaces at the Anthony Hopkins Centre

The workshops spearheaded the Strings departments’ focus on pushing the boundaries of traditional musical styles in fun, collaborative sessions.

“We were pushed out of our comfort zones, which was fantastic.

The way they were demonstrating how free we should be with our music and how we should experiment more with our instruments was really fascinating and something I’ll really take away from the workshop.’

They were so inspiring and talented I am desperate to learn more!

I’m definately  attending the concert tomorrow night.

As classical musicians we need to have more workshops like this, to help us think outside of the box.”

Charlotte Frost, 4th year Cellist

Sidiki Dembele holds a spontaneous calabash tutorial with our first-year Music students

The workshops and performance were an inspirational start to College life for first-year Music students, with the focus on expanding minds both musically and culturally.

“I think anyone that participated would agree how surreal and engaging the group work was. All singing random notes of choice and creating this spontaneously beautiful wash of harmony together was truly an experience.

It helped us listen and connect with each other through sound, as did singing the Hadyn quartet! 

I also loved the world music element and the uplifting nature of African rhythm and song. It felt so exciting every time we layered clapping rhythms and chanted traditional African celebration song.

The Collective’s workshops are innovative, helping to bring cultures together in such a clever and engaging way.”

Georgina Hamilton, 1st year BMus

Manchester Collective at RWCMD

Our first-year Music students enjoying a vibrant workshop at the Anthony Hopkins Centre with the Manchester Collective, covering rhythm games, improvisation, yoga and choral arrangements of Haydn Op.76 No.1. #RWCMD #RWCMDMusic Ein myfyrwyr Cerddoriaeth blwyddyn gyntaf yn mwynhau gweithdy bywiog yng Nghanolfan Anthony Hopkins gyda Manchester Collective; yn cynnwys gemau rhythm, gwaith byrfyfyr, ioga a threfniadau corawl Haydn Op.76 Rhif 1. #CBCDC

Posted by Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama on Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Collective combined their visit to the College with the launch of Sirocco, a show that covers solo cello to classics from Stravinsky and Haydn while merging with African and Danish folk songs.

Find out more about our Strings course.

Photography: Kirsten McTernan

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