Improve your string accompanying skills in a workshop with Chen Yang
When: Saturday 26 May, 2PM
Where: MTAQ, Suite 26, on level one of the Taringa Centre, 200 Moggill Road, Taringa.
Tickets available at the door. Cost $15 or pensioner or student concession $10
Participants, to secure your place for this very informative event
Please contact AGQ Secretary, Ms Barbara Clifford on firstname.lastname@example.org
A little about Chen…
Come along and enjoy this masterclass on working with string players – Chen is one of Brisbane’s most dynamic and experienced performers, teacher and mentor, as well as an enigmatic conductor…….
Chen Yang has had a long association with Queensland Youth Orchestra, having first joined as a violinist in 1975 and was concertmaster of QYS from 1978 to 1980, touring with the orchestra in 1980 to Europe, including the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Aberdeen, Scotland. Attributing these positive QYO musical experiences as a major influence in choosing music as a career, Chen studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and graduated with distinction in violin performance.
As his first professional musical undertaking, Chen was the Concertmaster of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra (later renamed the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra), working under the distinguished Maestro, Georg Tintner. In 1981 Chen joined the Queensland Symphony Orchestra where he played in the first violin section until 1989.
Deciding on a change, Chen spent the next spent two years as musician-in-residence on Dunk Island Holiday Resort in North Queensland where he led a string quartet and performed as a cabaret violins. He continued as a freelance musician throughout the early 1990s, performing in show orchestras for many major musical productions at QPAC.
Chen is the leader and conductor of The Sinfonia of St Andrew’s orchestra and is the string teacher and conductor at St Hilda’s School, Southport. He adjudicates regularly for eisteddfods and competitions and is also a prolific arranger of string music for the Junior String Ensemble. Chen was the conductor of QYO3 from 1983 to 1988 and since 1991 has been the conductor of the Junior String Ensemble.
The Accompanists Guild of Queensland has recently become aware of a surprising and misjudged policy adopted by the AMEB, of introducing recorded accompaniments for use in practical music exams “as an alternative to accompanists”. As an association of professional accompanists, we are very concerned by this worrying initiative, and wish to strongly voice our disapproval of this decision.
While we recognise that recorded accompaniments may benefit students in the preparation and practice of pieces in some cases, the use of recorded “backing” in the actual examination can only provide a disservice to the young musicians. For one thing, we do not believe that “the availability of accompanists has become an issue”, at least in the major centres. All our members are competent and experienced musicians, and always help the soloists to perform at their best.
The AMEB should, on the contrary, encourage the use of accompanists in the examination room by not making it simply optional. How can a nervous young student doing an exam for the first time for instance, feel that he/she is safe and secure when following a tape which will play “at the 100% tempo” without regard for tonal balance, and unresponsive to the candidate’s stage of technical development? In more advanced cases, works which require good musical rapport between solo part and accompaniment can only be compromised and devoid of character and creative interpretation.
There are many other aspects of performance that can be affected without a real, live person, sensitive to nuances of interpretation, and supporting the solo candidate with commitment and sincerity.
We sincerely hope that the AMEB will reconsider their ill-advised decision and disregard this policy to demonstrate a more intelligent and understanding attitude towards ensemble playing, and to maintain some fundamental principles of good music-making in performance presentations.
Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland, Inc.
Read this excellent letter penned by Mr David Miller
Chair of the Accompaniment Studies Unit at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the President of the Accompanists’ Guild of NSW
AGQ Youth Protection Policy
Statement of Commitment
The Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland Inc. is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people, including those who use our services. The Guild expects its members to always provide a safe and supportive environment, and our members are expected to treat children and young people with respect and understanding and aim to address their concerns at all times.
Members are advised to be aware of legal requirements for “Working with Children Check” (Blue Card).
Code of Conduct
Members of the Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland agree that they will:
Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person, regardless of their abilities, gender, religion or cultural background;
Provide a safe and supportive environment for young people;
Refrain from using abusive, derogatory or offensive language; and
Impart knowledge and skills in a respectful and encouraging manner.
Master Class for Young Accompanists August 2014
Words by Juanita Simmonds
On a Saturday afternoon in Brisbane, seven school-aged musicians took a turn at the piano to perform and rehearse live with a professional flautist in a Masterclass organised by the Accompanists Guild of Queensland.
The participants, aged between 12 and 18, are currently studying solo piano but have an interest in making music with others as piano accompanists or associate artists.
The soloist and instructor in this Masterclass was Mrs Janine Grantham, known in Queensland as an orchestral flautist, teacher and AMEB Senior Examiner with many years experience.
The event was open to members of the public, accompanists, and parents of the participants. The audience observed Janine encouraging and shaping the musical ensemble. She provided tips on how to work with a flute soloist on issues such as intonation, timing and entries in repertoire as varied as Schumann, Faure and “Blues at Eleven”.
Accompaniment masterclasses and workshops often are run by pianists and can tend to focus ultimately on piano technique. This Masterclass was innovative in being facilitated by a soloist who can advise the pianist on typical balance problems with their solo instrument while helping to bring the duo together in an artistic and musically satisfying way.
The session was organised by the Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland in response to interest from young pianists wanting to develop their skills of accompaniment. President of the Guild, Mr Regis Danillon, said that the participants were keen and engaged with Mrs Grantham’s instruction and music making.
“The first accompaniment Masterclass was held in 2013 and was quite successful so we ran it again this year. I think there is enough of a demand to continue this as a regular event in Brisbane’s musical calendar,” said Mr Danillon.
You can register your interest for the next Masterclass by emailing the Secretary of the Accompanists’ Guild of Qld, email@example.com
Accompanists Guild of Queensland Inc.