"The last 12 months have been wonderfully productive, if frantic! In August, Wendy Cook (choreographer and workshop partner) and I travelled to Japan to run music-theatre workshops for 8-21 year-olds in different parts of the country. Though coping with temperatures of over 100 degrees (with no air conditioning!) was often exhausting, overall it was very rewarding experience that demonstrated the value of working across the art forms in a creative and integrated way. Wendy and I always enjoy working together, as on our recent collaboration The show must go on! – everything you need to know to put on a musical, published last summer.
Back in the UK, I have been giving a host of workshops on either singing, music theatre or voice composition. These can be with teachers, or with pupils or both. It is a pleasure to work in so many different places with such a wide variety of age groups and skills. In February I presented two ‘Lollipop Proms’ at the Festival Hall as part of Music for Youth. These are huge events for over 5000 primary pupils, many of whom are in a concert hall for the first time and are naturally very excited!
There are currently several composing commissions in the pipeline, and I have just completed some songs and vocal exercises for the Associated Board. This was a great challenge – how to make songs easy and interesting at the preparatory level, and appeal to boy singers at the same time! This is something I feel very strongly about, having just written and arranged 28 songs for Junior Songscape. These were written mainly for primary pupils, but judging by the enjoyment we had whilst recording them, I hope their appeal will be universal. It was a treat to be singing as a performer and not a workshop leader for once!
I am now looking forward to a hectic month with several primary festivals to conduct around the country, and a week working on a new music-theatre piece with primary and secondary pupils. You never know, maybe I can squeeze in a holiday at some point too…"
Lin Marsh 2004
Publications by Lin Marsh available from Faber Music are: Songscape, the ultimate Key Stage 3 songbook for classroom and concert use; Metropolis, three traffic-stopping songs for SA(B) choir and piano; and the handbook The Show Must Go On! mentioned above (see Reviews). Junior Songscape for Key Stages 1-2, which includes a CD of all the songs, will be published by Faber in July this year.