Last week Brentwood School was proud to host the annual Music Masters and Mistresses’ Association (MMA) meeting. Each February the national association of music teaching professionals meet and this year over thirty Directors of Music, from Schools across the Eastern region, came to Brentwood School to experience a full day of master classes and performances.
The School is very proud of its musical reputation and the visiting Music Directors got to experience first-hand what music is like at Brentwood. During the day they attended a Choral Workshop, a Latin-American Percussion session and an Inset lead by Brentwood’s Director of Music, David Pickthall, on how to arrange music for a Big Band. This session featured the School’s own Big Band illustrating music that had just moments before been written for them.
Following the excitement of the morning’s programme, attendees enjoyed a concert in the new Wessex Auditorium by the Chamber Choir, String Octet, Consort of Voices, piano soloist Max Harris and the Big Band. The visitors were thoroughly impressed with the new auditorium, which opened in September 2011, in particular its excellent acoustics and comfortable raked seating. During the planning and building of the Wessex Auditorium, music was very much in mind and the acoustic properties were carefully considered. Reflective panels in the roof and on the walls give flexibility to the room acoustic, enabling the reverberation time to be adjusted according to the music performed.
The day concluded with Evensong in Brentwood Cathedral sung by the Chamber Choir augmented by the visiting delegates, this was appropriately (on February 2nd) a celebration of the Feast of Candlemas.
Director of Music David Pickthall who organised the day for the MMA commented; “It could not have gone better, and we received huge compliments on the performances of our talented pupils and equal praise for the layout of the day – all delegates went away with many new ideas to consider for their own Schools. We look forward to visiting Norwich School in 2013 for the next annual meeting.”