Senior Music Performance students and House Music Captains had the opportunity to attend a masterclass held by the proclaimed jazz singer and guitarist, Allan Harris on Valentine’s Day.

Accompanied by his band (Pascal Le Boeuf on piano, Shirazette Tinnin on drums, and Nimrod Speaks on bass), Allan introduced himself by singing a small selection of songs, showcasing the band’s musicality and adaptability to different genres.

We had the privilege to hear Allan speak of his attitude to performance, and how it is of utmost importance to “have your story, and to tell it to the audience” so to connect with them emotionally through the music, while entertaining them. He also gave us fantastic insight into how to prepare for a performance, how to find band members who you will work well with, how to choose a repertoire, and how to grow as a performer.

Some of us even had the chance to play alongside the band, with the students of the rhythm sections putting together a blues sequence, while our fellow vocalists and instrumentalists improvised over the top.  While the students were performing, Allan and the band gave tips on stage presence and how to interact with fellow performers and the audience.

It was a privilege to witness the band’s talent, and all who attended learnt much about the music industry and how to develop as a musician. The energy and humour with which Allan delivered his messages made it a thoroughly enjoyable and helpful afternoon!

James Hardy
Year 12 Student

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