Phoenix FM Sunday Sessions with Jade MayJean

Phoenix FM Sunday Sessions with Jade MayJean

I will be playing piano with Jade MayJean live on Essex radio station Phoenix FM this coming Sunday 15th September as part of The Sunday Sessions.

Tune in to 98.0 fm in Essex and East London — or listen online here — from eleven o’clock on Sunday morning to hear acoustic versions of Jade’s original songs from her recent album 20Sixty.

Summer Exam Success

Huge congratulations once again to all my students who took music exams during the summer term exam period. With entries spanning all levels from Grade 2 to Grade 8 – across piano, drumkit, music theory and music production exams – it’s been another successful academic year, with a 100% pass rate yet again.

I feel very privileged to work with such a talented and dedicated group of students every single week – and to be able to share in celebrating these successes – and I am extremely proud of all of you.

I’d like to make a special mention of Jonah Williams, who achieved Grade 8 music production with a merit, and is now heading off to the University Of Liverpool to continues studying music and music technology at an advanced level. Jonah has already begun playing pro-level gigs, and is a passionate and intelligent musician; I have no doubt that he is going to make a success of this next stage in his musical journey as well. To see students I have worked with going on to forge their own careers and their own lives in music is a source of huge pride for me, and of course I wish Jonah all the best at Liverpool.

The new school year begins in September (full term dates are now available on the Student’s Page) and I can’t wait to see what exciting new challenges this term will bring!

Your Sibelius Toolkit at Benslow Music

Your Sibelius Toolkit at Benslow Music

As a working musician, I find myself using Sibelius notation software all the time, in a variety of different contexts. With a hectic work life which spans touring with bands, teaching private students and youth orchestras and a wide range of studio work, I’m always looking for ways to make my workflow as efficient as possible and get the most out of whatever technology I’m working with.

In June 2020, I’ll be coming to the beautiful Benslow Music campus to run a four-day course entitled Your Sibelius Toolkit, where I’ll be passing on tips and advice for making the most of this super-powerful music notation program and helping course attendees to feel more confident and empowered Sibelius users.

This new course will look at using Sibelius notation software in a variety of different contexts, and will aim to make you a more confident Sibelius user. From keyboard shortcuts to customising the user interface, we will ensure that this powerful music creation tool works for you, complementing your creativity and processes, and allowing you to be more efficient in whatever you are working on. Participants should bring their own laptop with Sibelius version 7 or later to work on during the course. There may also be the opportunity to hear your compositions/orchestrations performed by the concurrent Chamber Orchestra course.

Benslow Music January-July 2020 Prospectus (download in full here)

This will be the first time that Benslow Music have run a specifically technology-based course, and I’m very excited to have been asked to come onboard and lead the course as their Sibelius tutor.

It maybe a full ten months away, but booking opens to the general public this week, so get onto the Benslow Music website now to bag your place.

On The Edge front cover

Lady Will You Be My Friend from On The Edge by Tony Ashman

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of recording an original song in my studio; Lady Will You Be My Friend is a song from the debut novel On The Edge by retired Norfolk GP Tony Ashman – the song appears in the text of the book, and is sung by one of the main characters at a pivotal point in the plot. Without giving too much away, the song has quite an impact on the narrative!

Because the character in the book is a guitarist and singer, I was able to ask my friend James Porter to play guitar on the session at my studio in Norfolk. I then sang the track, and mixed it.

The finished track is now available to listen to on YouTube here:

On The Edge is published by Paul Dickson Books, and is available to buy from the publisher direct or on Amazon.

Framlingham Gala Fest

Jade MayJean Headlining Framlingham Gala Fest

Very excited that I’ll be back on drums with Jade MayJean and the 20SIXTY band in May this year, headlining the Framlingham Gala Fest on Monday 27th May with Jade’s original songs from the hugely popular 20SIXTY album which came out last year.

The festival is at the Framlingham Castle Meadow over three days from 25th – 27th May, and admission is free for all.

Sistema In Norwich Performance Project featured on Sistema Europe website

Sistema In Norwich Performance Project featured on Sistema Europe website

A recent article on the Sistema Europe website has put the spotlight on Sistema In Norwich’s ‘Performance Project’ – a brand new Sistema initiative for 2018-19.

Over the course of 12 concerts and just under a year and a half, Sistema in Norwich will engage with circus groups, the Norwich-based Vagaband, fellow Sistema-influenced groups and established musicians and composers from across Europe.

The project also provides the young musicians involved with the chance to compose for a variety of scenarios and formations, with pieces for soloists, ensembles, brass and wind sections all finding their way into the schedule.

The Sistema Performance Project thus increases Sistema in Norwich’s social impact, provides its students with additional performance time and accelerates their personal development, promoting self-confidence, resilience and leadership – all while building upon Sistema in Norwich’s existing connections both at home and abroad.

Sistema Europe website

The circus performance in collaboration with Lost In Translation – which took place in October of last year – was an exciting and innovative project, expanding our students’ horizons and bringing them into contact with other forms and settings of orchestral performance.

It is always gratifying to gain the recognition of the international Sistema community for our work, and it is an honour to be a part of a global musical movement with the history and pedigree of Sistema.

And with eight more Performance Project concerts scheduled throughout this year, there’ll be plenty more opportunities to check out the great work of Sistema In Norwich for yourself. Head to the NORCA & Sistema In Norwich website for full details of dates, venues, ticket prices, etc.

Exam Success: Christmas Term 2018

I am delighted to be able to report another term of exam successes for my students – with candidates taking exams on piano and on drums, ranging from Initial Grade up to Grade 5, with a 100% pass rate once again.

Big congratulations to all my students for their hard work and perseverance, and for their fully-deserved exam success. Now, keep practising – and onto the next exciting new challenge!

One last party for Gillingham’s Excalibur Nightclub

Delighted to be back at the King Charles Hotel in Gillingham tonight, to celebrate the legacy of the legendary Excalibur Nightclub – which, in its heyday between 1989 and 1998, hosted artists such as The Prodigy, Salt N Pepa, Rick Astley and Bros, amongst others.

Ultra ’90s will be onstage from half-past-ten, to give the Excalibur Nightclub the send-off it deserves.

Drums and synths onstage at the King Charles Hotel, Gillingham

The Pisces Rising at Summer In The City

I am delighted to announce that I’ll be playing percussion in a live orchestral performance for The Pisces Rising – a popular YouTube channel which re-orchestrates well-known theme tunes into large, epic-sounding masterpieces – at this year’s Summer In The City YouTube festival at the ExCel in London.

The performance will be on the main stage at half-past-five this Saturday, 11th August.