AYM summer courses and Snape Proms performance

Scott Stroman

The summer has always been busy for Aldeburgh Young Musicians and July 2014 has been no exception. This year we kicked off with ‘Crossing the Borders’ which was a week’s course collaboration between classical and non-classical musicians and languages.

There was the usual buzz of excitement on the first day of the course as the AYM’s reconnected with their friends. Working with Scott Stroman (London Jazz Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra Renga Ensemble) ,Stuart Hall (Middlesex University, The Guildhall), Cennet Jönsson (Malmö Conservatory, Cennet Jönsson Quartet), Liam Dunachie (pianist, composer & arranger) and Alcyona Mick (pianist & composer) their week together focused on music crossing borders between classical and jazz. Working sometimes by ear and sometimes from scores, the musicians created an ensemble with a great sense of rhythm, great listening and some superb improvisation.

This summer we have also had the pleasure of having Britten Sinfonia Academy coming to stay. The course had a bit of a rocky start on the first day with trains from London being cancelled and AYM Julian Trevelyan held hostage at Colchester Station – but AYM is not so easily deterred and quickly the course was in full swing. This has been our first collaboration with Britten Sinfonia on a chamber orchestra course working to the theme, ‘Britten Inspired’. The musicians explored existing repertoire by Adams, Onslow, Britten and Beethoven. But the true excitement came from the new works which were being developed by our resident AYM composers that week led by tutor Dobrinka Tabakova.  The AYM composers relished the opportunity to work with a chamber orchestra and took advantage of the less familiar instrumental ‘wildcards’ of a euphonium and a guzheng; which had been thrown in to keep them on their toes.


A Dalcroze inspired musical exercise, working with movement and spatial awareness.

Other highlights from the week included yoga each morning on the Hepworth lawn with BSA tutor Clara Biss. Also the students had lots of fun in the evening visiting Aldeburgh’s famous fish and chip shop and birthday cake baking at the AYM ‘digs’. At the end of the week we had the privilege of seeing what the students had been working on.  Their performance was phenomenal. We were very proud of what they had managed to accomplish in such a short space of time.


Yoga on the Hepworth Lawn.

Also, it was great  having the Britten Sinfonia Academy team here at Aldeburgh working together with the AYM artists and we look forward to seeing them again soon. You can find out more about Britten Sinfonia Academy here.

We are now at the beginning of the last AYM course for this academic year. We are welcoming back Justin Thurgur, Kishon Khan and the Lokkhi Terra Crew. After last year’s AYM World Music course with Lokkhi Terra there was a lot of excitement from the AYM’s about their return.  You cannot help but dance listening to them practising- so we are eager to see what the students are going to create over the course of the week. The course  will culminate with a AYM/Lokkhi Terra collaborative performance at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, as part of the Snape Proms on Monday 4 August 2014 at 7.30pm. You can buy tickets for this event here.


AYM percussionist Acer Smith with Lokkhi Terra’s Oreste Noda