Allan Withington has once again come up with an inventive theme for his popular Conducting Summer School Course which will be held in Leeuwarden in The Netherlands from the 13th to the 18th July.
Over the years he has incorporated underlying links to elements of freedom, food and even fashion, and this year he will explore a very different sense of musicality — that of fragrance.
"I think it's an exciting concept," he said when talking to 4BR about his theme of 'The Fragrance of Music'.
"It's one that I hope will trigger a different understanding of the musical senses in each of the conductors and the players — a type of perceptive synesthesia if you like.
Music is all about the senses — from immediate impressions to long forgotten memories, each triggered by something or someone — a thought, a person, a colour, or even a smell.
Having touched on life and work of Coco Chanel for a collaborative production it gave me the idea to explore musical themes, elements, styles and genres based on an understanding of why particular fragrances are so important to us all."
The 'Fragrance of Music' course will once again see the delegates work with Soli Brass, runner-up at the 2018 Dutch National Championships, as well as gain invaluable help and assistance with many other aspects of conducting.
Allan added: "I believe that it's important to offer the delegates a fully rounded experience on the course — so we will once again look at different aspects of conducting, not just the technique of making a band play well. Becoming a better conductor also means becoming a better musician."
In addition to the delegates working closely with Allan and the band in rehearsals and in conducting at the end of course concert, the six days will also offer the opportunity to look much more closely at elements of interpretation, score preparation, rehearsal and concert planning — as well as exploring ideas from the conductors themselves about adapting and developing their own creative ideas.
"That's a key element to the course — and something I always take away from it myself. I want the delegates to be inventive and brave, to share ideas and experiences."
Music is all about the senses — from immediate impressions to long forgotten memories, each triggered by something or someone — a thought, a person, a colour, or even a smellAllan Withington
Desire to explore
The course is open to conductors of all ages and levels of experience — but all with a desire to explore and be inventive.
As Allan concluded: "Be inquisitive and be bold — and come and have plenty of fun with people who will help you develop as a conductor and as a musician. We'll even try to find out why we pick out favourite aftershaves and perfumes too!"
If you are interested in attending the 2019 Course, please contact with a brief CV: