Moreton Hall’s Barbirolli Society welcomed professional clarinetist, Mark Lacey, to deliver a day of woodwind masterclasses. Mark has a huge amount of performing experience, having performed with many of the UK’s leading orchestras, ensembles and opera companies. The sessions were a mixture of flute, clarinet and saxophone masterclasses with students from Year 7 to Sixth Form taking part.

Reflecting on her lesson with Mark Lacey, Harriet Bradburn commented: “I found the masterclass a really fulfilling experience as he gave me lots of tips to help propel my saxophone playing forward. His tips on vibrato were especially helpful.”

Clarinetists, Cathy Holt and Maya Falah were particularly delighted to have this opportunity. Cathy said: “I thought that the masterclass was a great experience and I learned many useful tips. I really enjoyed it!”. Maya added: “I had a wonderful time taking part in the woodwind masterclass. It enabled me to add more expression and emotion into my pieces.”

Mark worked on a wide variety of areas with the students; from technical elements such as breathing and vibrato, rhythmic precision and rubato, improvisation and style and interpretation. All of this will help the students to focus on their learning, how they practice and to delve deeper into their musical studies.

Recognising that the class will enable them to continue to polish their playing skills and to develop greater performing confidence on their instruments, Eloise Bowyer said:

“It was such a great experience having the Woodwind Masterclass with Mark Lacey. I’ve only been playing the saxophone since September so it was great to practise in front of people and a fresh set of eyes on my Jazz Grade 2 pieces. He gave me some brilliant feedback which I will definitely take into account for my exam this term.”

The Barbirolli Society was created in 2018 to extend the flourishing music department at Moreton Hall by bringing a wealth of new and exciting opportunities to students. Moreton Hall’s musicians have the opportunity to further their studies to the very highest level through coaching from a series of masterclasses and workshops run by visiting professional musicians throughout the year.