Christopher Norton Piano Festival Coomera, Gold Coast, Australia, 29th, 30th September 2012
Coomera is on Australia's Gold Coast (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coomera,_Queensland), where a large (over 70 students) 2-day Festival was very well organised by Ashleigh Miles, a local teacher with over 80 students of her own! This Festival was held at Saint Stephen’s College and I was amazed when I arrived to see 12 sparkling, new Roland pianos set up on stage, supplied by Linda from Gold Coast Pianos (www.goldcoastpianos.com.au)
Over 2 days, I did 2-hour sessions for Preparatory Level students, then Levels 1,2,3,4,5 and 8. Every group had a one hour improvisation group, followed by a one-hour master-class.
There are so many highlights it’s difficult to know where to begin! I managed to get every single student to come up with ideas of their own (and repeat them) to play well in an ensemble and to think about what they could do to make their piano playing more fluent, their phrasing more elegant and their attitude to piano playing more positive.
I’ll put a picture gallery up on Facebook (the page to look for is Christopher Norton - Composer) but here are some of the master-class participants mid-flight, as it were:
And here is one of the improvisation groups – what a magnificent sight!
Yes, that’s the composer in shorts! It was the Gold Coast and it was pretty hot…
The Gala Concert was in the same magnificent venue and was thoroughly enjoyed by both performers and audience.
CN Christchurch, NZ 9th October 2012