Summer School Evening Activities

The evenings at BKA Summer Schools can be a time to wind down or chat with new friends about the adventures of the day. However for those of us who just can’t get enough, there is a timetable of exciting and interesting evening activities.

Here is the timetable for 2015. More details to follow.

Sunday 9th August 2015, 20:00
Choral Improvisation Workshop with Dr Árpád Tóth

Monday 10th August 2015, 20:00
Workshop with Dr James Cuskelly
“Out loud: Giving everyone a reason to sing”
The importance of singing and how to engender the singing in our schools and in our communities.

Tuesday 11th August 2015, 20:00
Workshop with Allan Wright
Power and Projection: vocal volume made easy.

Thursday 13th August 2015, 20:00
Workshop with Dr Susan Brumfield

Friday 14th August 2015, 20:00
Party and Concert

David Vinden

David_VindenDavid has been involved with music all his life, being a choirboy at Truro Cathedral, studying singing at the Royal Academy of Music with Joy Mammen and Pieter Van der Stolk as well as orchestral conducting with Maurice Miles. A choral scholarship from St. George’s Chapel Windsor enabled him to further his studies at Royal Holloway College. After teaching for some years he went to the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary, for two years. He studied Solfège, Methodology as well as choral conducting with Peter Erdei. Returning to England he took up a position at the Purcell School becoming its director of music in 1987. He conducted many orchestral and choral performances on the South Bank as well as all over Britain and abroad including the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has lectured at Trinity College of Music in orchestral and choral conducting, Birmingham Conservatoire and is currently a professor at the Guildhall School of Music. He and his Japanese wife, Yuko, founded the Kodály Centre of London in 1992 and they have produced over 30 publications for use in Kodály education. He is a member of the International Kodály Society and has given lectures and demonstrations all over the world including Westminster Choir College in the USA and Portland State University in Oregon. He works frequently with Géza and Csaba Szilvay of the Colourstrings Foundation and has also lectured frequently at the Kodály Institute and the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He is collaborating with Cyrilla Rowsell on the series of Primary school music curriculum books called ‘Jolly Music’ and is also co-authoring a book on ‘Harmony through Relative Solfa’ with Mónika Benedek. Recent editorial work includes a performing edition of Musica Transalpina 1 of 1588, The children’s songs collected by Cecil Sharp from Children and the complete canons of Cherubini. He has been conductor of the Eastcote Choral Society and the London Kodály Choir. He was awarded an honorary ARAM by the Royal Academy of Music for his services to music education and in 2007 was awarded the highly coveted ‘Kodály Institute’ award again for his services to music education and conducting work.

Allan Wright

Allan-WrightAllan was born in the North-East of England, in the county of Northumberland. His love for music (and especially the voice) started at the age of ten when he joined a local Choir and realised that singing was the most fun anyone could possibly have, ever (even more fun than cake). He went on to become deeply passionate about musical theatre and continued his musical studies alongside his academic work in Phonetics and Phonology (degree from Manchester Metropolitan University).

Allan moved to France in his late twenties (possibly because of the cakes) and, whilst teaching at university, began to bring together his love of phonetics and the singing voice. His study of the physiological and acoustic aspects of the singing voice led him to start coaching injured singers needing rehabilitation work and, in 2010, to set up the evidence-based technique programme ‘l’académie du chanteur moderne’ (the modern singer’s academy), which has gone on to become one of the most popular singing programs in France (and is now fully funded by the French government for working singers).

In 2011 he also began training other singing teachers to work with this physiological and acoustic approach to the voice. Allan regularly coaches in-house for musical theatre and opera companies as well as working on healthy and versatile voice techniques with choirs, and artists from various musical fields (classical, rock, heavy metal, soul, RnB, pop, country etc) and often speaks at conferences on vocal pedagogy and new approaches.

Despite trying for many years, he remains unable to play the guitar, but maintains that singing is the most fun anyone can have, ever.

Dr Árpád Tóth


Árpád was born in Budapest, 1982. He graduated from the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest with

degrees in choral conducting, music education and as a teacher of solfége and music theory. He currently leads several choirs in Hungary and has worked for more than 12 years with the Hungarian minority of Slovakia as a choral conductor and music educator.

He currently teaches conducting and choir building at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemt. Since 2013 he has also been teaching musical analysis and music theory at the University of Szeged. He has been on the staff of the University Training Secondary School of the Hungarian University of Arts since 2006 where he is the founder and master of the school choir and where he teaches music education, the history of culture and supervises the student self-government.

Árpád has a special interest in contemporary music and has conducted more than 30 premieres. He is the art director of special modern singing events, such as the Budapest Night of Choirs and ‘Hajnalok Völgye’, the first Slovakian contemporary choir festival. Over the years he has built up a special choir improvisation technique with his choirs and he will be sharing these ideas in his evening workshop.

Dr Orsolya Szabó

Dr. Orsolya Szabó is a concert pianist, professor at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest and at the Kodály Institute, Kecskemét, teaching piano, chamber music, piano pedagogy and her own creative music pedagogical method, the “SZO-System”.

Dr. Orsolya Szabó received her diploma in 1972 and her DLA in 2010 at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Since that time, her teaching vocation and performing have been parallel and inseparable from each other. She has taught at the conservatoires in Budapest and Szeged, and also at the Szeged Teacher’ Training College. Since 1983 she has worked at the Kodály Institute, Kecskemét and, from 2010, has also been teaching at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest.

She gives concerts all over the world: in Italy, Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Great Britain, Belgium, Singapore, China, and South Korea. She has held Master Classes on several summer courses in Hungary as well as in other countries and is often asked to adjudicate at international piano competitions. She was one of the leaders of the International Jeunesses Musicales Federation and worked on Lord Menuhin’s “MUS-E” Project.

Her involvement in arts besides music is also significant. She was national champion in Rhythmical Sport Gymnastics eight times. Her experience and knowledge in this field led her to create a special movement system, the SZO-System, for musicians, which she has been teaching in Hungary and abroad since 1990.

In 1982 she received her MA diploma in Aesthetics and Philosophy, Budapest and four books of her poetry were published in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996. Her activity in Fine Arts is also important. She has had several “one-woman” exhibitions of her paintings, graphics, and statues in Hungary, Stuttgart, London and Paris, etc. She was awarded the prize for “Excellent Piano Interpretation of New Hungarian Works” (Artistjus) in 1972; in 1987 she received the “For the Hungarian Culture” Prize and, in 1995, the prize for “Excellent Music Teaching Career”.

Her students are very successful both in the field of performing (including winners of several international music competitions) and as piano teachers.

Alan Murdock

Alan-MurdockAlan was born in N Ireland and his early musical training was in the local brass band. After music studies at Queen’s University Belfast, he taught in Belfast before moving to South London in 1988 where he concentrated on choral work in the John Fisher Comprehensive School.

He revived his interest in Kodály education, which he first encountered at London University, Institute of Education, with Cecilia Vajda, eventually completing an advanced course with Cecilia and attending Summer seminars regularly in Hungary and England. The Chapel Choir of boys in his school is one of the best known school choirs in the UK, getting into the finals many times of National competitions. The Boys’ Choir section reached the semi finals of the BBC’s Choir of the Year competition in 2000; achieved the “outstanding performance” award in the National Festival of Music for Youth in 2002; a “highly commended performance” award in 2004; finalist of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year 2006 and final six of the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year 2008. In 2010 the boys and mixed voice choirs were both South of England Area section winners of the BBC Choir of the Year. The school’s choral society has performed many of the major choral works like the Fauré Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Handel Messiah, Verdi Requiem, Britten War Requiem, Haydn Creation and Walton Belshazzar’s Feast and Louis Vierne’s setting of the Mass. Alan retired from class teaching in 2010 to enable him to further teach Kodály methodology in more schools and in the community.

Simon Kent: accompanist

Simon-KentSimon studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Mary Peppin, James Gibb and Norman Beedie. He completed the post-graduate course in piano accompaniment at the Guildhall with Graham Johnson and took part in his Young Songmakers’ Project. He studied at Aldeburgh with Martin Isepp and in 1991 he won the Accompanists’s prize at the Guildhall. In the same year he was the soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. After further post-graduate study as a repetiteur, he worked with many opera companies including the City of Birmingham Touring Opera, Pimlico Opera, European Chamber Opera, Opera Holland Park and British Youth Opera. In 1993 he took part in a Kodály summer course and since then he has been a great advocate of the Kodály system, teaching children and adults at all levels from kindergarten to higher education. From 1998–2006 he was Music Specialist at Mill Hill Pre-Preparatory School and from 2006 – 2015 he was Director of Music at Eaton Square Preparatory School in Belgravia. In September 2015 he will take up the position of Director of Music at Alleyn’s Junior School, Dulwich. Throughout his career Simon has performed chamber music with both singers and instrumentalists; he is also a keen composer and arranger.

Kodály Summer School – Options

The afternoon options will provide an opportunity to choose from a variety of courses which will be on offer at different times during the week.

Delegates will be requested to make their choice of afternoon options in advance and will receive a form from the Administrator upon application to the course or shortly thereafter. Our expectation is that once a course of study has begun the student will stay with their choice for the rest of the week. All sessions will be dependent on numbers, and the BKA reserves the right to cancel a course if the numbers are insufficient. There will be a free afternoon midweek on Wednesday, the 12th of August. Students are encouraged to bring their musical instruments to facilitate informal music making in the preparation times, on the free afternoon and evening or in lieu of options which may not be of interest. Practice facilities will be available in the evening but limited during the day to the preparation period.

Individual Tuition and Coaching will be offered throughout the afternoon. (NB Individual lessons are not covered in the course fee; students opting for five lessons may have a lesson timetabled on the free afternoon.)

NB. There will be no afternoon sessions on the free afternoon, Wednesday the 12th of August

Session One
13:30 – 14:45

In Session One students may choose one of the following six options:

1. Methodology 1 for Teachers and Practitioners in Early Childhood
2. Methodology 2 for Teachers and Practitioners in Primary Teaching
3. Methodology 3 for Teachers and Practitioners in Secondary Teaching
4. Methodology 4 for Teachers and Practitioners in Instrumental Teaching
5. Choral Music Workshop

More details

Session Two
15:00 – 16:15

In Session Two students may choose one of the following three options:

1. Conducting at 4 levels
2. Susan Brumfield – Repertoire & Pedagogy (repeated in session three)
3. James Cuskelly Musical Listening & Lucinda Geoghegan Singing Games (repeated in session three)

More details

Session Three
16:45 – 18:00

In Session Three students may choose one of the following three options:

1. Esther Hargittai: Jewish Music & Dance
2. Susan Brumfield – Repertoire & Pedagogy (repeat of session two)
3. James Cuskelly Musical Listening & Lucinda Geoghegan Singing Games (repeat of session two)

More details

Cyrilla Rowsell

cyrilla_rowsellCyrilla gained a Bachelor of Education degree and then was a class teacher in First and Primary Schools for eleven years. During this time she became increasingly interested in the Kodály approach to music education, and subsequently attended many courses including Summer Schools in Britain and Hungary.

She obtained the British Kodály Academy’s Advanced Musicianship Diploma with Distinction in 1991. Since then Cyrilla has taught the Elementary and Intermediate Level year courses for the BKA and has taught solfège, methodology and conducting on BKA Summer Schools. She teaches in primary schools and on the String Training Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Cyrilla has run courses around the country for organisations including the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, The Dalcroze Society, The National Youth Choir of Scotland, ESTA, the Shrewsbury Opera Project and for various schools and LEAs, including a year-long project in Barnsley and helping to plan a pre-instrumental musicianship course for children on the Isle of Man. She was the first advisory teacher for the Voices Foundation.

Cyrilla is currently writing the ‘Jolly Music’ scheme of books for primary age children with David Vinden.

Cyrilla has run a large junior age choir who won the Bromley Music Festival in 2000 with a high distinction mark of 96. The most experienced members of the choir performed both at the Royal Festival Hall in the Music for Youth Choral Day and at the Royal Albert Hall as part of a 500-strong Bromley choir at the 2002 Schools’ Prom. They performed many times at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, supporting the Band of the White Russian Army and the Croydon Philharmonic Choir.

Dr László Norbert Nemes


Dr. habil. László Norbert Nemes is currently professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest and director of the International Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy. His main areas of expertise are the theory and the practice of the Kodály Concept, musicianship training according to the Kodály Concept, choral conducting and choral music education. His most recent publications include a chapter on choral music education according to the Kodály concept in the Oxford Handbook of Choral Pedagogy published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Besides teaching at the Liszt Academy he maintains an active career as a choral conductor. Since September 2014 he has been artistic director of the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir, the artist-in-residence choral ensemble of the Liszt Academy. In 2018 he founded the National Youth Choir of Hungary. For twelve years he worked as the associate conductor of the Hungarian Radio Children’s Choir. László Nemes has conducted, taught, held workshops, master classes and seminars all across Europe, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Japan, the Korean Republic, Malaysia, The Philippines, Republic of China/Taiwan, Singapore and the United States of America several times. He is guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. In recognition of his artistic activities he received the Bartók-Pásztory Award in 2005. In March 2017 he was decorated with the Golden Cross of the Hungarian Cross of Merit. He is vice president of the International Kodály Society, honorary member of the British Kodály Academy and patron of music education at National Youth Choir of Scotland.