Welcome to Cello Dynamo
The spirit of the Cello Dynamo cello course is based on a supportive mixed age cello fraternity where cooperation with, and learning from each other, is paramount.
We aim to support teachers – and welcome engagement with them – by reinforcing and building on what they teach their students throughout the year.
We are able to offer complementary and experienced teaching skills to a wide age-range. This means we can cater for: those on the brink of a performing career; those going through conservatoire and university; and younger cellists attending school and junior colleges. We are an inclusive course, welcoming both elite players who have made cello the centre of their lives, as well as those who love the cello but also have other passions and therefore less time to practice! The child prodigy and keen amateur should feel equally at home with us.
The Senior Coaching Team
The concept for Cello Dynamo originated when Alexander (Sandy) Baillie, Joely Koos, and Michal Kaznowski coached and performed together on a number of cello courses. They share a strong belief in the power of mentoring and learning at an intensive immersive course. In offering a vast amount of experience both as performers and teachers, and are eager to pass this on in their various distinctive ways to a new generation of young cellists.
Annelies Scott was brought in to develop the programme for the younger and less experienced cellists and, with her background of running chamber music courses since 2001 was invited to take on the role of planning and managing the overall course as Course Director. Annelies also coaches chamber music and runs the community orchestra sessions.
Alexander’s world-renowned solo career encompasses recitals, concertos and recordings championing the richly expressive British music of the early 20th Century. He is Professor of Cello at Bremen University’s Hochschule der Künste. As a teacher, he is “Mr Motivator“ to hundreds of young cellists from all over the world.
Michal became the the youngest principal cello in the country in 1979 when he joined the CBSO working with Simon Rattle. Since 1983 Michal has been cellist of the internationally renowned Maggini Quartet. He has taught cello at Wells and Purcell, and is currently teaching in the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music.
Joely is Professor of Cello at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. She enjoys a varied, exciting performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and as guest principal cellist for several major British orchestras including BBC NOW, BBC Phil, Bournemouth Symphony, City of London Sinfonia and London Chamber Orchestra.
Annelies was a string finalist in 1986 BBC Young Musician of the Year. She was a member of the European Soloists Ensemble for 10 years, before retiring from professional performance due to injury. She was a Course Director at Pro Corda for 11 years, and has held the posts of Head of Strings at Guildford High School and Associate Lecturer at Surrey University.
Cello Dynamo Course Details
10-15 August 2020 at St Catherine’s School, Bramley. Course Fee : £795
The course of 2020 will be wide-ranging, offering students the opportunity to experience masterclasses, to play in a cello orchestra and to be coached in smaller sized cello ensembles. There will also be a variety of technical workshops as well as Sandy’s celebrated ‘Mr Motivator’ class. New for this year are the Cello Clinics – more information below. In addition, students will have an opportunity to perform pieces in short informal concerts after lunch. Evenings will feature relaxing social events.
Participants perform in smaller groups according to age and standard, and in open classes where the whole cello fraternity come together.
Daily sessions offer every student the opportunity to work on their repertoire with tutors. We are very fortunate to have two professional pianists, Margaret Roberts and Amanda Hurton on the course, who work tirelessly to rehearse and perform with every student for the masterclasses and performances. The students gain so much from their musicianship and skill.
Students are encouraged to actively observe each other; in doing so, they gain insight from a more objective learning experience.
Each day ends with the community orchestra, where all ages and abilities play together with the tutors. This is a great opportunity for mentoring by pairing older more experienced cellists with younger players and promotes a mutually beneficial learning relationship. Orchestral discipline and technique are explored while keeping the sessions informal and relaxed. Repertoire is a mix of classical and light-hearted.
All students are placed in a chamber music group appropriate to their age and ability.
Cello Dynamo passionately believes in the many benefits that chamber music brings. It is a vital part of our education and is a chance for cellists to take off their “solo” hats and concentrate on building their musicianship and teamworking skills. There is some opportunity for the groups to work without a tutor: this builds co-operation and creative skills and gives the students a real sense of ownership over their work.
We work with students on developing a shared interpretation of the music. The tutors encourage an understanding of initiating and responding, of listening more deeply, and working on technical areas together to achieve this.
Here we focus on more technical aspects of cello playing and the idea is to make it interesting and fun.
With smaller groups we explore areas such as good body use, the mechanics of playing, and understanding the physical properties of the cello and bow.
Each tutor will bring their individual speciality to workshops: to include Michal’s “Scales are fun”, Joely’s “Cello Gym”, and Sandy’s “Mr Motivator”. Annelies will work with the pre-Grade 8 group on consolidating building blocks such as left hand positions, bow articulation techniques and key sense.
Cello Clinics - New for 2020!
Cello clinics take place for smaller groups of students to participate and learn from each other. Here each student has the opportunity to choose how they wish to be helped with regard to any aspect of their playing that they are keen to tackle. This may include repertoire, studies, scales, exercises or posture. Students can expect to attend at least one clinic during the course.
The work in clinics is more intensive, more intimate and less formal than a masterclass. It offers a forum for students to concentrate on their “work in progress” – they do not need to come along with a polished product. The emphasis is on working on improving practicing skills, and encouraging creativity and a positive attitude whilst doing so.
Dynamites is the section of the course for the younger students, up to around Year 8. The daily timetable is slightly different, with a longer afternoon break and an earlier bed-time. However, the content is very similar, with all the above activities still provided for this age group and the addition of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a wonderful approach to musicianship training.
For Dynamites, we suggest a minimum level of around Grade 3 but cater for all standards up to Diploma in this age range.
Due to the fact that the ability and experience of each student has little to do with their age, we have many ways of adapting our programme to the needs of the individual, and make sure that those under 12 who are already Grade 8+ get time with the more advanced classes, and also that those who are over 12 who might feel overwhelmed by the pace of an advanced class can work within their comfort zone.
Performance is an essential part of the learning process and we believe this important area should be approached in a spirit of mutual support and positivity.
Performances at Cello Dynamo offer the chance for interpretations, some of which have been worked on at masterclass level, to evolve. To this end daily informal concerts are scheduled after lunch and all students are encouraged to take part and attend.
The course culminates in a concert open to family and friends showcasing ensemble music that has been worked on over the course.
Relaxing is as important as working hard and the stunning setting of St Catherine’s School provides the perfect environment to do so.
As well as swimming, tennis and badminton, the pastoral care team organise social activities such as quiz and movie nights. (Swimming is dependent on the availability of a qualified life-guard – all efforts will be made to ensure this happens).
The tutors devise some music events too, including Sandy’s video and verbal retrospective of various cello greats – legends such as du Pré, Casals, Fournier and Rostropovitch – who have had such a profound influence on our instrument.
High quality pastoral care is at the forefront of the course. Every student’s well-being and safety is at the forefront of what we do. Annelies has advanced child protection training, and Wanda, our wonderful Matron, has a background as a qualified child-minder and has held the position of matron on several residential courses.
Billy and River complete the house team. Billy is a music student at Plymouth University who has been working with young people teaching guitar since he was 16. River is a final year Psychology student at Birmingham University. River has been attending chamber music courses since the age of 5, and has helped to teach and run courses with Annelies since the age of 17. All staff are fully DBS checked and Annelies and Wanda hold First Aid qualifications.
In 2014 Annelies qualified as a counselling psychotherapist and works mainly with adolescents. This brings an extra aspect to the way she approaches working with and caring for young people, especially during a residential course.
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Venue: St. Catherine’s School, Bramley, near Guildford, Surrey
St Catherine’s School is an independent girls’ school in the village of Bramley, near Guildford, Surrey, England. The school is divided into a senior school, for ages 11–18, and a preparatory school for girls aged 4–11.
The course will take full advantage of St Catherine’s new, award-winning music facility, which includes a 300-seat auditorium boasting some of the best acoustics in the country, an orchestra pit, technical box and recording studio. Other facilities at St Catherine’s allow for huge scope in terms of social and leisure activities, with a swimming pool, extensive grounds with tennis courts, and common rooms in the boarding houses.
Course Fee : £795. Applications prior to March 31st 2020 will be eligible for a £45 discount for a total fee of £750.
On booking, you will receive an invoice for £50 which is a non-refundable booking fee, deducted from the total fees. The balance will then be invoiced approximately 2 months prior to the course.