Composition Masterclasses at SSFC

This will be an intensive fortnight of composition masterclasses, seminars, lectures and consultations, given by three young, up-and-coming composers.  Seminars and lectures will be open to any SSFC students. Consultations will be given to A2 Music Students to support their composition coursework.  Each composer will give an evening masterclass on “Composition: A Personal Perspective” which will be open to the general public.

Come and see us in the new SSFC Music Suite (on the roof) of Wakeman Hall, English Bridge Campus





Gareth Rhys Jones MASTERCLASS*









Consultations, Lectures, etc

9/12 – 13/12

All Day


TICKETS (for general public): £2


Gareth Rhys Jones

Gareth Rhys Jones is a UK based composer, producer and musician working in the film/tv/online industry. His credits include “Bullet In The Face” (IFC), “Next On” (MTV), “Soccer A.M.” (Sky), “Rugby Sevens” (BBC) and channel idents for Five USA. This year alone (2013), he has had music broadcast in 11 countries worldwide. Gareth predominantly works from his own project studio in Shrewsbury.

He studied at the University of Leeds, under Philip Wilby and Sam Hayden, focusing on composition, orchestration and music technology. He is an active performer and confident multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar and clarinet.

Gareth was one half of the art-pop duo “Rescue Party” releasing one album “Imaginary America” in 2006. He is currently preparing his first solo record, due to be released in 2014.

He is a member of PRS For Music and the PPL.



James Christopher Oldham

Never begin a bio with a joke. Save the joke for the second sentence. James was born indoors but proceeded to go outdoors later in his life, where he encountered a thing called music. He received tuition in guitar and composition throughout his young life until realising that composing was his favourite bit. In summer 2013, James graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire with first class honours and received the Conservatoire Composition Prize and Orchestral Prize upon graduation. In 2010, he won the Philip Bates Audience Prize for an opera scene he wrote for a competition. Opera and writing for the audience have been two very important things since then. 2012 saw the beginning of Waste Paper Opera Company, set up by the composer to stage exciting, dark, satirical, imaginative and humorous theatre. The opera company has staged two large-scale operas under James’ artistic direction (one of his own composition) and will be staging a third in 2014 as well as touring their 2013 (destructive) reworking of Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne.

All musical styles are equally valid, after all “t’ain’t watcha do, it’s the way how’t you do it”. But never use a motto otherwise you will be stuck with it forever. Always end with a joke.



Reuben Penny

Reuben started learning percussion from a young age and through his tuition with the Shropshire Music service achieved grade eight drum kit and orchestral percussion by the age of fifteen. Through his musical career he has played in a variety of settings, most notably leading the Shropshire Youth Percussion Ensemble for two years and performing with the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, playing in the 2012 Summer Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

Along with regular performance work, Reuben studies composition at Birmingham Conservatoire and is part of the newly formed “Consequences Collective”. (A collaborative project where composers work together to write, perform and produce an opera.) During his time at the conservatoire he has written and performed many of his works as well as completing several commissions and briefs for multi-media based projects outside of the academic environment.

Using his skills as a percussionist and a composer, he has partaken in several musical educational outreach programs. In early 2013 he was selected to work as part of the Town Hall, Symphony Hall music outreach program titled “Repeating Patterns”. The project was headed by Joby Burgess and was dedicated to working with a Birmingham based school helping GCSE music students to create a piece based upon the music of Steve Reich. The final product was performed at Symphony Hall and Town Hall in Birmingham with Steve Reich in attendance.


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