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Members' Day 2019

With thanks to our former President Professor David Saint, our annual ISM Members’ Day took place in the vibrant setting of the brand new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in Birmingham on 16 April 2019. We welcomed over 80 musicians from across the UK to Birmingham for a diverse, exciting and busy day of sessions, networking and catching up with colleagues and friends.

We were delighted to welcome the fantastic pianist and BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018 Lauren Zhang to ISM Members Day. Before heading off to Poland, she treated the audience to a rousing performance of Brahm’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35.

After Lauren’s performance, Dr Alison Daubney and Professor Martin Fautley kicked off with the first session of the day: Aspects of Music Education. They took the audience on a journey through the current state of play within music education, which included findings of the State of the Nation report, focus on the national curriculum, Ofsted and other areas.

After the first session drew to a close, the AGM took place where members heard about the ISM’s activities over the course of the financial year.

After a lunchtime break catching up with colleagues and friends (and an added spot of networking) it was time for Dr Katy Hamilton in Conversation with Param Vir, affectionately known by his peers as ‘PV’. PV took us through his life and career, including his early childhood in a musical family in India, to his move to London to work with the late composer Oliver Knussen at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Peter Maxwell Davies at Dartington International Summer School.

We were also fortunate to welcome two musicians from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group: soprano Patricia Auchterlonie and cellist Uli Heinen. PV took the musicians through an open rehearsal of his new work Wheeling past the Stars. The audience were handed scores of this piece as they walked into the Recital Hall and were able to follow the rehearsal, and then later the performance.

After the open rehearsal and performance, it was time to introduce the fantastic Xhosa Cole Quartet onto the stage. Xhosa Cole is a saxophonist, a former Royal Birmingham Conservatoire student and the winner of BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018. He and his quartet performed Summertime by Gershwin (arranged by Xhosa), Moving Ladywood (Xhosa’s original composition which won the competition) and Played Twice by Thelonious Monk (arranged by Xhosa).

After the masterclass, it was time for Professor David Saint, our wonderful President for 2018/19 to pass the presidential medal to baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, our new ISM President 2019/20, before the day drew to a close.

Of his appointment, Jeremy said: ‘The eminent Welsh composer William Mathias was President of the Incorporated Society of Musicians during my student days. As a Welshman I am humbled and honoured to follow in his footsteps as the new President of the ISM.’

Outgoing ISM President 2018-19 Professor David Saint said: ‘I am delighted to be handing the Presidential medal to Jeremy Huw Williams. As an internationally-renowned performer and a long-standing ISM member, Jeremy with his wealth of knowledge and insight will help the ISM to achieve ever greater heights. I wish him every success over the coming year.’