Starting on the right note
A group of Exeter music students were celebrating something of a coup with the possible linking up of internationally acclaimed musician Nigel Kennedy to their new music course after they met the star backstage at his recent concert in Bristol.
The 28 Exeter College Music Academy students currently studying A level and BTEC Music Performance and Music Technology programmes travelled to Colston Hall as part of their studies not expecting that they would be invited backstage as a select group to meet the famous violinist. And even more of a surprise was his interest in being able to work with them again in the future as the college gears up for its first higher education course in music – the Higher National Diploma – starting in September this year.
"We've had a great year for music in the college, said Laura Wright – a year ago we opened our brand new Centre for Music Performance that has really put a spotlight on music, music technology and performance and we've been lucky to have many experts and musicians of a high standard come to Exeter to stretch and challenge our students. One of our ex-students, George Cooper, worked for Nigel Kennedy as music copyist on his Vivaldi Four Seasons project and it was great that as a result of that link we were able to spend over an hour with Nigel after his high-energy concert when he quizzed the students about their music and ambitions."
"I was eager to see him uphold his reputation as one of the best violinists of our generation", said Jamie Gosling, one of the Academy students, "We were privileged to view him and the orchestra sound check before the performance and even from the snippets of his composition I could tell it was going to be a night of unforgettable awe inspiring talent."
"As the orchestra went through the Vivaldi season pieces, attention never dropped and you couldn't help but feel inspired by the beauty of the music being played , the originality and showmanship could only come from the best, and Nigel Kennedy as well as Elizabeth Balls Orchestra of Life, were nothing short of the best, leaving all of us students and teachers truly inspired and moved."
After meeting the violinist backstage Jamie stated "He showed a real interest in our studies and music and told us he regarded us as an 'ace group'! This really was a 'once in a lifetime performance 'by one of the most inspirational and talented musician of our generation."