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Conservatorium to Coast: Contemporary quintet tours to inspire music-makers

A contemporary quintet from the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music in Hobart has been spending time in  Tasmania’s North-West, as part of an engaging tour designed to inspire music makers of all ages.

Comprised entirely of teaching staff who are performers in their own right, The Glen Hodges Quintet connected with communities in Ulverstone, Stanley and Queenstown to deliver free composition forums and concerts.

The group is fronted by Dr Glen Hodges, the Conservatorium’s Deputy Head of Music and Coordinator of Contemporary Guitar, who said the events were open to aspiring composers, musicians or anyone interested in an evening of contemporary tunes.

“The tour came about because we were very interested in connecting with people writing music in the popular arena which incorporates genres such as folk, blues, jazz, country and songwriters, to not only encourage them, but be encouraged ourselves. As composers, we don’t draw inspiration from a vacuum,” Dr Hodges said.

“So many of these communities have hidden musical skills so we wanted to be that point of crystallisation, a catalyst which brings these artists together and inspires them to share their talent.

“The evening was also an opportunity for us to share the diversity of programs offered at Tasmania’s premier musical institution the Conservatorium of Music, because what we do there is much broader than most people might realise, particularly in the contemporary space.”

The quintet also comprises of Alistair Dobson (saxophone), Randal Muir (piano), Nick Haywood (double bass) and Steve Marskell (drums).

Teachers and students in the region were also invited to attend.

“The tour encouraged students to explore and develop their expertise in this discipline, and dispel some of the myths they might have about studying at the Conservatorium,” Dr Hodges said.

“We also hoped it encouraged them to realise that the Conservatorium of Music is open to anyone with potential and talent.”

The concert series was  supported by a University of Tasmania Community Engagement grant.

Published on: 21 Apr 2017 1:22pm