How did you find your time at Central?
The Associate Musical Directorship was a new venture for the school and a new challenge for me; one which, I feel, was relished and exploited fully by both parties! It provided an opportunity to observe, understand and contribute to a learning environment “bolted” on to the theatre industry. I can now speak in detail and with confidence about the fundamental principles of the course, and about the acting training at the heart of all music making at Central. Understanding the learning processes of a representative sample of students across 3 years of training has been invaluable, and will inform my teaching and musical directing in the professional, as well as in a drama school environment. This perhaps also alludes to the wider realisation that the role of the musical director, in a professional or in a school setting, is rooted in pedagogy.
What difference did the scholarship/bursary make to you?
The foundation generously supported a large portion of my salary from the school – allowing me to feel supported and valued as a member of the teaching staff, whilst developing new skills in a supportive and nurturing environment.
What was the most valuable thing about the course for you?
The opportunities for me to develop as a pianist and musical director have been numerous and far-reaching. My playing in specific styles, and with specific ‘feels’, has improved immeasurably – through a combination of listening to others, and practising efficiently and in detail. As a musical director I emerge from Central with the confidence to be flexible and creative in the rehearsal room; with a firm understanding of how work is created and rehearsed in a professional environment, and a firm grasp of the musical, organisational and interpersonal skills required.
What have you been doing since?
I’ve been working as an MD in London – including assisting on workshops of exciting new material, a pantomime over Christmas, and other freelance work such as accompanying for auditions and coaching. I’m about to start as Assistant MD on Bugsy Malone for Lyric Hammersmith. I’ve also stayed in touch with Central, and am in there occasionally – and I’m delighted that my successor as Associate MD seems to be getting on brilliantly. Wendy and I were thrilled that the position could continue for another year – and hopefully beyond that!