The Guernsey Music Service is hosting a series of workshops for young people, drawing on the talents of the professional musicians who find themselves in Guernsey as a result of the pandemic.
These musicians perform in top orchestras and opera companies in the UK and internationally; but some, including Mezzo-Soprano Rhiain Taylor, had their humble beginnings at the Music Service.
She and her partner, Matthew Nuttall, a Baritone, came to Guernsey at the end of the summer, after their upcoming work was cancelled for the foreseeable future.
“Live entertainment has ground to a complete halt as a result of the pandemic, and with social distancing restrictions in place many theatres in the UK are unable to open,” she said.
Both of the musicians ordinarily perform opera with the Glyndebourne Chorus, and Mr Nuttall also works with the Théâtre du Châtalet in Paris. While they are missing the industry, they look forward to hosting the first workshops on 22 October, with vocal students of the Music Service and sections of the Guernsey Youth Choir.
“It will be wonderful to work with young singers from the Music Service, and share in the creative process,” said Ms Taylor. “We hope to be able to share our passion for classical music and inspire the singers!”
Pictured: Matthew Nuttall, one of several performers who will be holding workshops with the Guernsey Music Service over the next few months.
Further vocal lessons are planned with another Baritone, Joseph Edwards, who in his youth performed as part of the choir at Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding.
Most of his work now involves touring Europe, sometimes as part of the internationally renowned choir Tenebrae. While he had a number of options as to where to settle down, he said that "nowhere is quite as special as Guernsey".
“I have been visiting for over ten years, and am very pleased to have settled on the island,” he said. “I look forward to making the most of what Guernsey has to offer. There is a great appreciation for music on this Island and I am very grateful for the warm welcome the music community has given me.”
Mr Edwards appreciated the opportunity islanders have had to enjoy music at a time when many can’t: “There are few places in the world at the moment that can host performances and workshops as Guernsey can, and we are incredibly fortunate to be able put on a workshop series like this to remind us that Guernsey music is still thriving despite the pandemic.”
American viola player Seth Van Embden, who plays with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and has performed in the UK, Italy and China, will also be hosting workshops. He came to Guernsey to be with his partner, and is looking forward to his first in-person interaction with students in seven months.
“It is our good fortune that several experienced and talented musicians have found themselves in Guernsey as a result of the covid pandemic” said Tim Wright, Head of the Guernsey Music Service. “It is well documented that orchestras, opera companies and music venues have had an unprecedented period of uncertainty in the past few months.
“Due to the fortunate position that Guernsey continues to find itself in, we can continue to provide excellent opportunities for our young people at this time. The experience and inspiration these musicians can provide is very valuable, and we are pleased to be able to show our support to the artistic community through these workshops.”
The Guernsey Music Service hopes to continue the workshop series throughout the new year.
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