Magnus C of E Academy students enjoy piano masterclass with musician Chris Miggells

Magnus Church of England Academy students attended a musical performance at St Mary Magdalene Church, Newark, followed by a masterclass in composition given by local pianist and composer, Chris Miggells.

Following the church performance, Chris joined students at Magnus where young musicians were able to engage with him directly in an exploration of music and the music industry.

Student Luke Walker (year 12, Deputy Head student) is currently working towards a Grade 8 in piano and joined the event with other senior academy musicians. Luke said, “The concert at the church was really good. I liked that Chris Miggells played his own pieces from his album, and how they were all really different. In between pieces, he spoke about his inspiration, and I found it interesting to know the context and thoughts behind the music.”

Luke also took part in the masterclass saying, “At the masterclass we were able to ask Mr Miggells questions and he gave us all guidance on a composition task using different photos such as waterfalls and nature as inspiration. I was also able to play for him, and his feedback was helpful.  This is something I have applied and use with my own practise now. I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear Chris Miggells play and to learn some lessons from a successful pianist.”

Known for his innovative approach, Chris Miggells guided students to construct melodies inspired by colours and scenic imagery. Both the Grand Canyon and the Northern Lights served as inspiration, encouraging students to explore the intersection of music and visual art.

Chris, whose recent album ‘Synesthese,’ was launched at the sellout ‘Clipstone Headstocks’ event in August, said he was pleased to be able to share his expertise with students. “Performing in the historic venue of St. Mary Magdalene was truly special. Meeting the bright and positive students at Magnus C of E Academy was a pleasure, and I’m thrilled to have encouraged their musical journey.”

Jackie Thacker is Leader of Youth and Community Music at Magnus and she said this was a fantastic opportunity for her students. “I’m absolutely delighted to have arranged such a wonderful experience for the students at Magnus, and so very grateful to Chris Miggells and St Mary Magdalene Church for being so accommodating.

“For me, enabling our students to be a part of an audience of a live classical concert was so important, as we too are readying ourselves at Magnus for the academy’s Christmas Carol Concert in the Parish Church later this month.

“It was a joy to witness the pupils captivated by Chris’ performance at the church, and later at the academy when he shared his skills with our musicians. It was wonderful to see how articulate and eager our musicians were, and how much they valued the opportunity to learn from a professional musician and composer during the masterclass.”

Following the performance in the magnificent parish church of St Mary Magdalene, Chris said, “I love Newark, it’s a great place, and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to connect with the vibrant community here.”