On Wednesday 11 March, parents and young musicians from eight of Cornwall’s schools shared a masterclass with one of the country’s top violinists, Helena Wood.
Hosted by Truro School, the afternoon event was an opportunity for budding violinists of all ages and abilities to play in front of an audience, each student sharing a 20 minute one-to-one lesson with Helena.
Ms Wood, one of Britain’s most acclaimed Violinists, regularly plays live on TV and radio with one of her biggest accolades coming in 2012 when she led the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms.
Students from St Uny, Truro College, Truro High School, Falmouth Academy, Newquay Tretherras School, Penrice Academy, Roseland Community School, Truro School and Penryn College all attended.
Martin Palmer, Director of Music at Truro School said:
“Helena has performed concertos since the age of twelve and now leads professional orchestras around Europe. Her technical, musical and people skills made her the ideal person to lead this event.”
Story of the Event
First up on stage and kicking off the event was Truro School’s Maisy, who played Boat to Inverie by Edward Huws Jones.
After a terrific effort by Maisy, Helena began to dissect the performance, explaining how she could exaggerate, and reduce, the tone of musical notes by adapting her technique to make the song flow better.
Helena continued to demonstrate her extensive knowledge throughout the afternoon, sharing advice on best practice for stage positioning as well as many technical tips.
Mr Palmer said:
“It was thrilling to see both pupils from the school and around the county inspired to greater heights by an international musician of such calibre.”
Naomi, from Penryn College, was another highlight, playing a moving rendition of the Allegro from Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Minor.
Helena taught Naomi, and the audience, how to increase the emotion portrayed in the performance, helping her to play a more connected piece ensuring that the high pitched notes did not overpower the lower notes.
End of the Masterclass
At the close of the event, Ms Wood said:
“It was such a joy to work with the music students. The standard of playing was extremely high with a real sense of enthusiasm and excitement for music. I felt privileged to be working alongside such a dynamic and passionate group of teachers”
Helena now prepares for her fortnightly trip to Ireland, where she is currently Concertmaster of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin.
Since the turn of the year, Truro School has been working in collaboration with the Cornwall Music Service Trust (CMST); a new charity set up following local government budget cuts that aims to preserve the provision of affordable school music lessons across the county.
Mr Palmer commented on the shared collaborative goal and said:
“It is not every day that a young musician can be tutored by one of the country’s top musicians in their field. Together with the CMST, we aim to put on many more of these events and open them up to other schools and the wider community.”
Girl Chorister Scholarship in Cornwall
Truro School has this year teamed up with Truro Cathedral to offer girl chorister scholarships. You can find out more by clicking here.