Elena Cobb At The Gibraltar Festival For Young Musicians

Elena Cobb At The Gibraltar Festival For Young Musicians

It goes without saying that music plays, (pun intended) a very important role in every child’s life and the Gibraltar Festival for Young Musicians’ team, led by Cathy Batchelor and Anna Bensusan of Allegro Music Productions and supported by the Government of Gibraltar, have certainly achieved their goal in providing an important showcase for developing musical talent and creativity in young generations to come.

The 10th Anniversary Gala Concert on Tuesday with the amazing array of a musical talent on every level was a real treat. Young musicians performed with confidence, poise and virtuosity. The level of performance in the Elena Cobb Jazz class was very impressive too and I want to congratulate the winners in each category: Michael Dowry (Elementary class), Karizma Daswani and Reena Nagrani (Junior Class), Stéphane Dominicy (Senior class) and every performer with their success. The tunes from ‘My Piano Trip To London’, ‘Higgledy Piggledy Jazz’ and ‘Blue River’ were full of glee and full of swing!

Jazz and improvisation are often considered too difficult for the classically trained beginners of any age, however keen they might be. The Jazz workshop I conducted in Gibraltar has confirmed once again that given a chance, even the most inexperienced beginners will blossom when instructed appropriately for their age and ability. During the workshop, children were very excited to learn about Twelve-bar blues, improvisation on Blues scale and ‘noodling’ – a term used for exploring and rambling away from the basic tune. Glissando sounded like the incoming plane! 

Every single detail, from the moment of my landing on the Rock till I said goodbye at the departure gate, was carried out with exceptional precision and professionalism. The hospitality of the dream team led by Cathy Batchelor and Anna Bensusan, dedicated volunteers Jo-Anne, Ruth, Andria, Margaret, Atsuko and Liesl was second to none. Thank you to teachers Cathy, Karen, Michael, Ruth, Dawn, accompanist Liz Heath, the amazing audience of families and friends, and staff at the Elliott O’Callaghan Hotel.

My single disappointment during my VIP tour of Gibraltar, sponsored by the Gibraltar Tourist Board, was that I only saw two apes sitting on the roof of the house and looking at the sea. Well, one cannot have it all, right?