The Ensemble group is mentioned throughout the series of articles and some insight into what the performers feel about the Ensemble classes has been mentioned but what about exploring what our devoted tutors think?
Q: First of all, let’s properly introduce you. What’s your role in Ensemble and what you generally do?
Luke: I am Luke, a full-time musician and music educator, who considers music not only as a job, but as a way of life. As the music leader of this Ensemble, my role is to provide the members with a holistic musical development so that they too may experience the joy of participating in a musical performance. This includes the teaching of various musical instruments, aural training, musical sensitivity and interpretation, and performing skills.
Rachel: So I am Rachel. I am the Dance Leader of Opening Doors Ensemble and Group sessions as well as a freelance dance practitioner. Every week we work to develop the dance pieces assigned by Director Carol Brown and build upon not only the physical skills to carry out the pieces but also the theatrical expression in line with the story we are communicating.
Estelle: This is Estelle! My role is to support the leader of the Drama group. Our work varies from helping the members develop their characters following the script and suggesting amendments, to helping the members find strategies to retain the lines in memory, to exploring characters and their movement, to staging a scene.
Q: What do you think of the progress of the students of the Ensemble from December, when the rehearsals for April’s play started?
Estelle: The students have not only consolidated their knowledge of the piece, but they have also developed a more serious approach to the production process. They have ownership of the project and have learnt to carry that responsibility.
Luke: I believe that the members’ steadfast commitment, creative input and gradual technical improvement shows that not only has there been progress in performance quality, but that this progress is an expression of the members’ desire to perform and share their art.
Rachel: I think that the performers have gone through an adjustment period and are now in tune with the new process of the ensemble. They were used to working in bigger groups with more creative input allowed. Now they are learning the responsibility required when working in a smaller group, the focus to learn lots of different styles for different pieces that make up the story and the discipline required to follow a director’s instructions. There has definitely been a clear and positive shift.
Q: Can you share with us any other feeling you have regarding your work so far?
R: Seeing commitment, versatility and cooperation emerge for the sake of a shared goal is essential to a professional attitude and I have definitely seen that develop in our performers through the Ensemble process, which is perfectly in line with our vision for Opening Doors performers
E: Overall, the Ensemble continues to surprise me every session; they keep me on my toes.
L: The Opening Doors Ensemble is a major step towards realising the organisation’s vision of providing a professional artistic platform to people with diverse learning abilities. Whilst working on a production that carries this desire at the heart of story, the students are learning how to follow and interpret a script as well as constantly refining their skills in their respective art forms.
The Ensemble is funded by Valletta Foundation 2018 https://valletta2018.org/
Another sneak peek of what the tutors think and feel has come to an end. More small interviews with the staff and the students are on the way!
Stay tuned on our website and Facebook page for more announcements on the Ensemble’s activities.