Links – Education and Community Work

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[Education and Community Work]

East Anglia

Nigel Morgan was one of a small group of music animateurs appointed
in early 1980s by the Regional Arts Boards as part of an Arts Council
initiative. He became
Composer in the Community for
the East of England for a period of 8 years until moving to Yorkshire
in 1989. Like many composers of his generation education and community
work has been an integral part of his practice as a composer.

As Composer in the Community for EAA and as the first
Kettles
Yard Fellow
at the University of Cambridge he created a yearlong
project on the music and visual art of John Cage. He worked for all
the LEA Music Services in East Anglia on projects as diverse as composing
music for brass band and live electronics (for Bedfordshire LEA), devising
music for MIDI instruments and computers (for Cambridgeshire Libraries
SciFi and Fantasy Festival), to a three month long residency in North
Norfolk culminating in
Skyscapes for a Spring Storm for choir,
large orchestra and computer for
Norfolk County Youth Orchestra
and the Arts Council commission
Spring Manoeuvres – a radiophonic
documentary created in a community recording studio and on location
in North Norfolk. His innovative score
Metanoia, commissioned
in 1987 for the
Norwich Students Orchestra, has received
many performances worldwide.

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[Education and Community Work]

West Yorkshire and Liverpool

In the 1990s, settling in West Yorkshire, he wrote a series of works for Schools Prom ‘stars’
Scalby High School including Beethoven’s Birthday – a music theatre work for jazz orchestra and electronics performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. As one of the founders of the Schools for Performing Arts Trust he was consultant on the team setting up the BRIT School – the first City Technology College for the Arts, and became the first Education Co-ordinator for the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts (LIPA) where he brokered many of the partnerships with local education and community groups the Institute now enjoys. He maintained his contact with Liverpool in a research post on the Musical Futures team at the Institute of Popular Music at Liverpool University, and later as visiting studio director at Liverpool Hope University College, a post he held until 1998.

His After Haydn project with schoolchildren and brass players from the English Northern Philharmonia coincided with his appointment as National Officer for the British Federation of Brass Bands – a 12 month post he held in 1997 to set up the

National Brass Band Centre at Dean Clough and secure the first direct Arts Council funding for the Brass Band world. He contributed the section on brass band music-making in the UK to Anthony Everett’s Gulbenkian report in 1998.

In the East Riding of Yorkshire Nigel has frequently been involved in the LEA’s In the Frame cross-art project weeks. His last project in 1998 involved a highly successful project bringing together Year 10 music and art students to create a 5-minute animation, a film that subsequently went on to win a national award.

 

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[Education and Community Work]

Norway and Wales

Nigel Morgan’s work as animateur and educator has frequently taken him abroad: most recently to Norway where between 1999 and 2002 he was consultant to Norsk Musikradd running workshops for teachers from all over Norway in music composition and music technology. In 2001 he gave the keynote address at the Skanbeat conference for popular music educators in Bergen, Norway.

In 1999 he became project composer with RESOUND, the education and community department of the
BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Initially brought in with composer Joseph Hyde for BBC Wales digital arts event Platfform 2000 he continued developing music and opportunities created by the innovative use of ISDN communications pioneered in his work Conversations in Colour – a piece that involved collaborations with students from the Welsh College of Music and Drama and Bangor University. His most recent work for RESOUND has been a live music event called Shopping! This included a live ISDN link up between primary schools in North and South Wales with BBC NOW musicians in Studio 1 in Cardiff.

Music-making in Wales -where the composer lives for part of each year in a remote part of the Lyn Peninsula – has included several residencies. During 2002-3 Nigel was Composer in Residence with Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn where he devised a unique project for AS Level students called Composition for Improvisation. Loosely based on the work of composer and improviser John Zorn, AS level students created often radical new work using Powerpoint presentations and samples as visual and aural scores for performance by members of the BBCNOW jazz ensemble. These pieces were performed and
videoed at the school, and culminated in a concert in which students and BBC NOW musicians joined forces to play numbers from John Zorn’s Masada Song Book. The Emlyn project ended with the production of The Pokèmon Songbook – a collection of songs for year 8 and 9 students to words by Margaret Morgan, which tell the story behind the Pokèmon phenomenon.

 

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West Yorkshire and the World!

The year of 2003 brought with it one of Nigel’s most ambitious and interesting education projects to date: the realisation, recording and world premiere performance of Priaulx Rainier’s The Rhythm of the Stones – based on the carving rhythms of the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. Here the composer worked with the WMDC Music Service, the YSP Education team and thirty Year 8 schoolchildren from the City High School in Wakefield creating sculptures to be played and a percussion ensemble to play them! This project was featured in the Times Educational Supplement and on Classic FM. As Composer-in-Residence for Yorkshire Sculpture Park Nigel Morgan also curated a day of music with soprano Philippa Reeve and members of BBCNOW at YSP in celebration of Hepworth’s centenary exhibition.

Go to a detailed synopsis of this education project in the Archive section

In 2005 Nigel is currently beginning work on A Passion for Apes – a work that will involve a large children’s choir (to be tutored in the languages of the apes by world experts on-line) – to be performed as a world-wide web-cast on the final day of the UNEP and UESCO sponsored GRASP conference in Kinshasa on 9 September 2005.