LCM Arts Festival puts young talent in the spotlight

LCM Arts Festival

An explosion of creativity is being unleashed by London College of Music (LCM) students who are staging compelling performances of theatre and music which have been devised and executed in only a month.

The LCM Arts Festival is taking place until 2 February and features stage plays by students in a series named ‘Self Direct’, a production of the opera The Gondoliers and performances of classical music by LCM Camerata – the University’s 50-piece orchestra.

It is a vibrant celebration of the next generation of talent which has at its heart the opportunity for students to collaborate with fellow young artists on different courses.

This week, 24 miniature stage productions played to sold-out audiences at Lawrence Hall as part of Self Direct. Around 200 students contributed their performing, technical and management skills to conceiving, rehearsing, staging and promoting the series.

A student taking part in the festival

Behnam Jafari, a second year BA music management student, was part of a group of 11 which oversaw logistics and marketing for Self Direct. The experience has helped him prepare for entering the world of work after graduation, he said.

‘Staging a production at really short notice is an asset for future projects. The teaching team gave us a lot of control which has given me extra confidence and I’ve met some great people from different disciplines. We’re already coming up with new ideas.’

Meanwhile, LCM Camerata will perform four pieces at Lawrence Hall on 31 January, following a performance earlier this month. The programme is a blend of pieces from the classical canon with elements of modernism. One is named ‘And God created great whales,’ in which the young musicians improvise to sounds made by whales. Accompanying it will be a video by Luciano Zubillaga, a student at the London School of Film, Media and Design. Peter Rudnick, Music Performance course leader, and Simon Rigby will co-conduct the performance.

Peter Rudnick, said: ‘The Festival is an exciting opportunity for the orchestra to be challenged by a new repertoire and it gives students the opportunity to improvise, in addition to the usual conducted music. They’ve responded very well.’

An orchestra performing

David Henson, the Interim Head of LCM, is directing students in the opera The Gondoliers, which begins a four-night run at Lawrence Hall on 30 January. The final performance will bring the curtain down on this year’s Arts Festival.

He said: ‘The Arts Festival brings students from all areas of the curriculum together to share the ideas and skills that exist within our community. It’s a coming together of the all wonderful talents we have. The students have been incredible in the way they’ve embraced these activities.

‘They have risen to the challenge of working under pressure to create highly creative works and high-quality performances, which is very impressive. This Festival is a wonderful experience.’

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