December News

It’s been a busy old time at Quay Music so I’ve just sat down with a coffee to tell you about what’s been happening.

Phil recently coached and took students from Gateshead College to the LG Arena in Birmingham to compete in the world skills final. Competing against 12 UK bands our students took the gold medal – this really is superb news for the North East. Performing in a 14,500 seater arena, the students demonstrated real musicianship and professionalism on and off stage. The band played tracks by Florence and the Machine and Christina Aguilera and really put on an outstanding show.

Phil has also been leading the partnership between Sage Gateshead and Gateshead College in the development of the new music curriculum. Now firmly in its first year and with plans afoot for it’s growth next year, it’s great to see Quay Music having the opportunity to shape the quality and scope of music provision in Gateshead.

Phil has also been delivering masterclasses this Christmas period and is particularly looking forward to continuing his work with New College Durham piano students as part of his lecturing role there. New College also contracted Quay Music to work with music students to arrange and perform a showcase at the Durham Retail awards ceremony. The students really rose to the professional standards expected of them, whilst also performing an innovative flash mob version of Pure Imagination, including Phil’s distinctive Choreography!

Quay Music are delighted to have been contracted to undertake a review and rewriting of the existing Access to Higher Education Diplomas in Music and Performing Arts. This will result in guiding the new qualifications through validation so that colleges can use this new qualification from Sept 2014. This is proving to be a wholly fruitful exercise liaising with various colleges, moderators, Sage Gateshead, Newcastle University and of course the awarding body – Open College Network, North East Region.

Consultancy is coming in thick and fast with musicians and music teachers coming for specific advice on aspects of playing, musicianship and improvisation. Quay Music really enjoy delivering the CPD development sessions with existing performing arts colleagues.

Phil is as busy as ever performing this December including several gigs with Claypath in Newcastle and Durham, accompanying Echo Choirs and Magic FM choirs, New College Durham Performing Arts Shows along with some festive solo piano appearances at Wynyard Hall and Northern Goldsmiths Jewelers.

2014 continues to look healthy with new consultancy channels opening up, continuing music teaching and projects, growth in lecturing opportunities, several gigs already on the diary. Phil is particularly excited about recording new Claypath material with a new album due the back end of 2014.  Befitting of Quay Music, Phil is delighted to be working on a new project with vocalist Zita Frith where North East Folk Songs are reworked into a contemporary setting. Live performances and an EP should be available from early 2014.

All in all, a very happy ship at Quay Music sailing into the New Year.