Catz student conducts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Early this year, Catz student Chloe Rooke (2015, Music) took part in a conducting course with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Invited by Martyn Brabbins, a globally reputed conductor and the current music director at the English National Opera, Chloe joined seven other students who are all studying conducting at master’s level or higher at top UK conservatoires. The invitation came after Chloe met Martyn at the Women of the Future Awards back in November, where she was ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Young Star’ category. You can read more about the Awards in an article written by Chloe featured in the upcoming 2017 edition of The Year.

Of her experience on the course, Chloe said: “As a young conductor the course was unique, and especially valuable – the experience of standing in front of more than 70 professional musicians with between them perhaps 1000 years of performance experience is both and exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time – how to add value or lead a group with such a depth of musical experience?”

“Every moment with BBC NOW was fascinating; learning how to direct, encourage and inspire an ensemble of 70+ professional musicians is not a task student conductors are usually faced with and it was a steep learning curve for all of us. Such an experience has had a considerable impact on my conducting, particularly in evaluating the role of a conductor as a whole and how I can develop to be most helpful to a group of professional musicians.”

Chloe’s attendance on this prestigious course was supported by a grant from St Catz, which was made possible thanks to alumni donations to the College. Of this support, Chloe said: “I am grateful for the College’s assistance in enabling me to attend this course, which has undoubtedly had a significant impact on my development and aspirations.”

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