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Choral Notes


In Conversation with Manchester Camerata

Sam McShane is Creative Director at Manchester Camerata. We discussed our upcoming concert with her, and found out more about some of the other projects and community work the orchestra undertakes.

Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in our upcoming concert on 16th March, A Glimpse of the Light: Mozart Requiem, as well as your ongoing links with our amazing Associate Conductor, Ellie Slorach?

Hi I’m Sam, Creative Director at Manchester Camerata. I look after all of our programming across the year, and am delighted to be back with our friends at Huddersfield Choral Society. In this concert we’re working with conductor Ellie Slorach who is also the Artistic Director of our Artistic Partner, Kantos. They are Manchester’s trail blazing chamber choir, programming exciting, forward-looking repertoire – a perfect match for the Camerata. You can see us perform together at The Stoller hall on the 5th of April for our Hearing Voices concert – a date for your diary!

We know you’ve been celebrating the work of Mozart through a multi-year collaborative project to perform and record all of Mozart’s piano concertos. Other than Mozart, what other composers do you love to play?

Camerata believes good music is good music regardless of genre. Over the last 12 months alone we have collaborated with pioneering electronic producers such as AFRODEUTSCHE, played arenas with our orchestral rave Hacienda Classical, toured internationally performing Mozart, Nyman and Beethoven, and commissioned a symphonic interpretation of an Urdu poem with another of our artistic partners, Rushil Ranjan. We love playing it all, and think that orchestras should be representative of the communities they serve, especially in the repertoire they play.


Huge congratulations on winning a prestigious ABO award recently for your principal flute and resident Music Therapist Amina Hussain. What other accolades and achievements are you most proud of?

Awards are great and we are so proud of Amina and what she has achieved. Without sounding cheesy, it’s the impact we can make on our audiences (be it in the concert hall or in a care home) which really drives us, and it’s the feedback we get from our fans and the people we interact with which means the most. Amina is an incredibly inspiring member of our orchestra; she collaborates with many other art forms and musicians, as well as helping us drive our important work with people living with dementia and their carers.


Can you tell us a bit more about the community work you do at Manchester Camerata?

Sure! Here at Camerata we believe everybody’s lives should be elevated and enhanced by exceptional music – be it on or off the stage. We put great value on our community work and consider it of equal importance to what we do, and in particular that it enhances our performance work as well. Take Amina for example. Amina is our Principal Flute and Resident Music Therapist, she performs across all of our work and also is essential to our Music in Mind programme for people living with dementia. Music in Mind, is now over 12 years old and has impacted countless people. We run weekly free music café’s out of our home in Gorton, for people living with dementia and their carers. We also work closely with young people in the local area inspiring the next generation of creatives.

How does it feel to perform with large scale choirs like Huddersfield Choral, as opposed to soloists/contemporary artists?

Incredible, we love working with such a wonderful group as HCS. Just the sheer scale and power they bring for starters is amazing! The sense of community within HCS is really special and that’s what we love – music bringing people together. We can’t wait for our next concert together.

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