Pupils were treated to some wonderful music at a workshop led by Lana Trotovšek and Maria Canyigueral on 28th March 2019. Lana and Maria were in Aberdeenshire to give a concert in Inverurie on 29th March and they visited local schools to give the young musicians a preview of the works they would be playing at the concert and to talk about life as a professional musician.
At Meldrum Academy the musicians gave workshops to two groups: the whole year group from S1 and a smaller group from S3. Maria and Lana introduced themselves and played short excerpts from national anthems, ‘God Save the Queen’, the Slovenian (Lana) and the Catalonian (Maria). They were perhaps not entirely surprised that “Ode to Joy”, the European Anthem, was not recognised.
The workshop went on to demonstrate their instruments and how they developed. Lana explained that her violin, which dated from 1750, had experienced many modifications in its life. She showed the difference between playing with the shorter baroque bow and a modern one. Maria explained the development of keyboard instruments from the harpsichord in its role to fill in harmony to the more expressive piano as a powerful solo instrument in its own right.
The pair then demonstrated musical styles in the modern period, where the pupils were encouraged to recognise musical moods, such as the violence in a Prokofiev excerpt or the peaceful imitation of nature in Vaughan Williams’s music. Pupils ably read out part of George Meredith’s poem, ‘The Lark Ascending’ before Lana and Maria played an excerpt from Vaughan Williams’s music that was inspired by it. Pupils and staff showed their appreciation of the workshop in the usual way.