01283 840120

Lancing College has introduced two new ventures in music. These are Lancing College Opera Project and Lancing College Conducting Studies.

Lancing College Opera Project

“I imagine a future of emerging young singers recalling their first opportunities to sing opera as part of the Lancing College Opera Project. There really aren’t many schools where such a development could happen” – Director of Music, Dr Ian Morgan-Williams

This term has seen the launch of another special opportunity for Lancing pupils with musical and singing talent: the Lancing College Opera Project.  There have been two workshops with vocal and opera studies teachers, all of whom are professional musicians and have been handpicked for this initiative. They have introduced twelve pupils at the school to The Magic Flute, Dido and Aeneas and The Gondoliers. The second workshop was an open rehearsal in the newly appointed Bedford Studios, named after two distinguished alumni of Lancing College, Steuart Bedford, conductor and pianist, and his brother, the late composer, David Bedford. The Opera Project has delighted pupils. Comments include: ‘enlightening’ and ‘this project has introduced me to a genre of music I have never previously experienced’.

The singers have been drawn from the Fourth, Fifth, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth Forms. Seven girls and five boys are taking part. Six are music scholars, and Rosanna Wicks and James Edgeler were previously choristers at Salisbury and Chichester Cathedrals, respectively. Matilda Dichmont, Rosanna Wicks, Sophie Williams and Jack Redman have excelled in the Lancing College Inter-House Music Competition, and Ella Rusbridger, James Edgeler, Reuben Hoyte, Elliott Johns and Jack Redman are studying music at A Level. Jack Redman, Lancing’s current organ scholar, who will give his first solo public recital in Lancing College’s famous Chapel later this month.

Ian Morgan-Williams, Director of Music at Lancing College since 2004, is the inspiration behind this opera project. Ian has overseen an impressive expansion of the Music School, including the instruments taught, visiting masterclasses and concerts by leading professional musicians at the school, and the events staged. Pupils give public concerts at Lancing itself, as well as in a range of outside venues. These have included HMS Ark Royal in Portsmouth; Brighton Festival Fringe; St John’s, Smith Square; and Worthing Pavilion, where they performed with the Chris Barber Big Band.

The vocal and opera studies teachers involved are:

  • Yvonne Patrick, soprano, a well-known performer of Gilbert and Sullivan, who sang with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and has also performed with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Garsington Opera.
  • John Hancorn, a choral director, singer and vocal animateur who specialises in offering solo opportunities to talented young singers, as well as working regularly with more experienced soloists. As an operatic baritone John appeared in principal roles at Glyndebourne, ENO, the Royal Opera House and Welsh National Opera. He leads workshops and master classes throughout the UK and other teaching includes Trinity College of Music.
  • Simon Lane, repetiteur, who performs with instrumentalists and singers across the country, in venues including Wigmore Hall, St. George’s Bristol, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Bridgewater Hall, as well as the US and throughout Europe; and in festivals including Bachfest Leipzig, Leeds Lieder, Brighton Festival and Ljubljana Summer.

Lancing College is fortunate in having on its staff the multi-talented Phil Richardson, who is an experienced theatre director, as well as Head of Religious Studies. He is very involved in this project.

Lancing College Conducting Studies

Lancing College Music School launches its Conducting Class this month, an exciting new venture for selected pupil musicians. Four Music Scholars will be under the tutelage of Steve Dummer, who teaches clarinet and jazz piano at Lancing, as well as being Music Director for the renowned Lancing College Concert Band. Steve Dummer is a superb all round musician, who trained firstly as a clarinettist under the great Jack Brymer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The maestro Diego Masson has called him “one of the best young conductors I have ever met”. Steve, who is conductor of Horsham Symphony Orchestra and Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra, is also director of ‘Talkestra’, where music is played, talked about and taken apart, to show how it works. He promises to give his Lancing conducting pupils an exciting time.