In July, we said a fond farewell to Rita Porzi, who retired as Head of East Barnet Music Centre after 18 years. Rita had also conducted bands at the centre for a number of years before assuming the headship and we are grateful for her many years of loyal service.
At the end of year concert, Rita was surprised with the opportunity to conduct the Senior Concert Band, who were joined by a number of staff and parents. Speeches and presentations were followed by a reception for Rita, invited guests and family, given by the staff at EBMC. Musical performances were given by staff and pupils.
We have had a number of staff changes at EBMC. I have been privileged to take over as Head of Centre, after ten years of teaching brass and three years as Deputy. I am grateful for the support of my newly appointed Deputy, Sophie Boden. Sophie has been teaching woodwind, and conducted the Beginner Woodwind Ensemble at EBMC since 2016. She is delighted to be involved in the continued growth and development of East Barnet Music Centre, which she strongly believe is a wonderful asset to our community.
Our Young Music Maker’s teacher, Claire Andrews left us in September, to take up a position teaching her first love, dance. We are grateful for Louise Hayes for stepping in to provide cover, while we seek out and appoint a replacement. We have also welcomed a number of new staff; Lizzi Tocknell (Brass teacher), Chris Jones (Rock and Pop/Guitar and Ukulele teacher), Andrew Harrod (Piano teacher) and Alice Quayle (Bassoon teacher).
The Autumn term has seen a continuation of the wonderful music making of last year. We have enrolled a number of new students for individual instrumental lessons and been fortunate to welcome many new students into our bands, choirs and Young Music Maker groups. we were visited by a Japanese film crew in our first week, who had flown over to film one of our very talented guitar teachers, Hidè Takemoto, who is the subject of a documentary being made about him.
We are looking forward to our end of term concert on Sat 25th November. This year, we are delighted that the Senior Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble will be joined by the Barnet Youth String Orchestra in performances at the Barnet Christmas Fayre, held on Sunday, December 3rd, from 1pm in St. John the Baptist’s Church, Barnet.