Training orchestra and Junior Choir at Hay's Galleria |
Catlow's career change (aged 40) from Orchestral Musician to Secondary
School Head of Music was the catalyst that led to his involvement
with Youth Orchestras and Choral Conducting. Here are some of his
thoughts on the subject.
the 1980s the world of music education was dominated by a certain
kind of populism - "Today's kids won't wear classical music.
You must meet them on their own ground" - etc. If you ran
a series of pop groups you were doing far better than if you ran
a symphony orchestra. This sort of approach was quite hopeless for
me. I was naturally at home with an orchestra, as I had spent 20
years in that environment. I felt that you could present
pupils with the challenge of classical music, with a particular
focus on instrumental ensemble and orchestra."
orchestra on tour in The Netherlands
experience at Camden School for Girls proved this by having a full
symphony orchestra of 50/60 players, plus a training orchestra,
all through my 18 years at the school with invaluable support from
an expert team of visiting instrumental tutors. What will always
live in my m370emory are the tours. These offered the additional
bonus of several days of concentrated music making and the possibility
of enhanced standards of playing. Audiences always thought we were
a specialist music school! We formed a routine of a biennial summer
trip to Europe: France, Holland and Belgium and Germany. We went
to the German Rhineland three times."
Camden Youth Orchestra on tour in the Black Forest |Camden
1992, after the disbanding of the Inner London Education Authority,
it fell to the London boroughs to provide their own music service.
I was invited by Peter West, the borough music advisor, to found
a youth orchestra for Camden Borough. From modest beginnings the
orchestra has become a well established ensemble which has regularly
appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican Church of St Giles
and other central London venues.
For the last three years the orchestra has attended a residential
course. In July 2007 the orchestra took part in a festival of English
Schools in the Black Forest, Germany."
Farewell to Camden Youth Orchestra