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The Imperial Classical Ballet Music CDs

The Imperial Classical Ballet Music CDs

30 March 2015

Yvonne Plester reports from the Hertfordshire course

You might ask why would I need to buy new CDs and attend a course on how to use them for future classes and exams? However, having just attended the Hertfordshire ballet course on the new CDs, I can only say a big thank you to all involved! A wealth of music, composed by fantastic pianists with over 100 NEW tracks, different time signatures, lengths and speeds are all at our fingertips.

At last we have the means of keeping the ballet class going at a pace to encourage stamina and correction, without the difficulties of finding a pianist. Changes of style within an arrangement can be achieved so easily with this wealth of music and I am sure we will all benefit greatly from that. My pupils certainly will.

As my teachers, Mavis Bultler and  Yvette Sargent always told me – you never stop learning – how true. A fabulous day was had by all of us. I even found music for my tap class.

Yvonne Plester

Introducing the Composers of the New Free Music Grade CDs

Kate Dickson

Kate is a permanent ballet pianist at Laine Theatre Arts and Performers College, playing for full time students at both colleges and for the Children’s Department at Laine Theatre Arts. As well as playing for all levels of ISTD Classical Ballet Exams, Kate has played for the Junior and Senior Ballet Awards and for the Summer Courses (formerly Chichester, now the London Summer Programme) for a number of years. Kate is proud to have a strong affiliation with the ICB Faculty and was honoured to be asked to compose music for the new Grade CDs. 

Gavin Meredith

Gavin graduated from Liverpool University in 1994 and upon leaving he worked as a musician on cruise ships, for Cunard and Princess lines. In December 1998 he completed a two year Master’s degree in accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music and since then he has enjoyed work across a broad musical spectrum.

He is a resident pianist at the Northern Ballet School in Manchester, and has also played for major dance companies such as English National Ballet, Carlos Acosta and the Rambert Dance Company. He is a pianist for Royal Ballet School Associates and for the last three years has worked on the RBS Summer School at Covent Garden.

Away from the world of classical music he has worked in the theatre on many UK touring productions, such as Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady and Cats

Aside from performing, Gavin also teaches, which has led him to develop an internet resource that has grown to become one of the largest music education websites. He also runs a website that provides piano backing tracks for classical singers. When not at a piano or computer, he likes cycling and whisky, but not simultaneously.

Debbi Parks

Debbi has worked in many fields of music, dance and theatre, as a teacher, examiner, composer, arranger, MD and accompanist. She studied the piano and flute at Trinity College of Music. Debbi has worked as an accompanist at many of the foremost dance colleges and ballet schools in and around London and has composed the syllabus music for the ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet vocational exams and numerous short ballets for shows and festivals worldwide, including a full length ballet The Windvale Sprites for South London Dance Studios in 2013. She has accompanied the Imperial Senior Ballet Awards for at least 25 years.

In the theatre world, Debbi has composed several musicals and has been MD for at least 50 pantomimes, most recently at The Stag Theatre Sevenoaks where she is Music Supervisor for Magic Beans Pantomimes. She has worked extensively as a teacher of piano, flute, singing in musical theatre and ballet, and was Head of Music at the Deborah Capon College Whitstable.

Debbi currently works mainly as a creative dance musician, playing piano for various dance organisations including: the Royal Opera House, where she regularly accompanies the Chance to Dance classes; The Royal Ballet Company, as a guest pianist for morning class; the RAD and the ISTD.

She is also an examiner of Music, Musical Theatre and Speech and Drama for Trinity College London. As a hobby Debbi plays the cello in the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra and the Tamarisk String Quartet.

Alison Raphael

Alison trained at the Royal College of Music studying piano with Patricia Carroll and accompaniment with Robert Sutherland. She also studied flute with Graham Mayger. Whilst there she began accompanying dance classes for the Rachelle School of Ballet for the late Cecchetti examiner Daphne Cooper with whom she worked for over 20 years.

She has worked at many of the leading London performing arts schools including Italia Conti, Doreen Bird College, Performers College, and was on the pianist staff of the Vacani Ballet School in Kensington for many years.

She is an official pianist with the ISTD, playing for both Imperial Classical Ballet and Cecchetti Classical Ballet work to all levels. She also freelances for the RAD and plays for examinations. 

Alison has a keen interest in children’s ballet music and has written music for the Cecchetti class exams and dances since the early 1990s. She was also responsible for selecting the music for the Cecchetti Grade 1 syllabus. 

Alison currently works for the Margaret Howard Theatre College, the Finchley Ballet School and the Highgate Ballet Academy along with many other freelance engagements.

Stuart Rush 

Stuart studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music. He has worked extensively at dance colleges, as a pianist and MD, including Bird College, The Centre Performing Arts, Performers College and Anthony Clifford Studios. He plays for the ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet (ICB) unit for the Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy and for the ICB Spring and Summer Programmes. As a composer, Stuart has written and recorded music for the modern, tap and ICB faculties.

As an MD, Stuart has worked on 15 pantomimes and numerous shows, including West Side Story, Grease, Honk, Zombie Prom, Bugsy Malone, The King and I, Rags, The Wiz
and A Slice of Saturday Night.

Adrian Sutcliffe

Adrian studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he was awarded the Frances Earle Scholarship for piano playing. He has played at most major UK concert venues including Southbank, St John’s (Smith Square), the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Hippodrome. His trio Classic Rhythm has appeared at hundreds of theatres and festivals throughout the UK and abroad as well as on national radio. He has played in West End shows such as The Lion King and is a music examiner and trainer for ABRSM (the exam board for the Royal Schools of Music), for whom he has undertaken many international tours.

Adrian has worked with dancers for many years, including at Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Matthew Bourne and also many rehearsals and shows at the Royal Opera House. He has also launched his own dance music company, Dance Inspire, with his original music being available on CD and MP3 download.

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