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News > Junior School > Matt's Masterclass for Junior School

Matt's Masterclass for Junior School

It was a pleasure to welcome professional cellist Matt Lowe to Junior School as he facilitated two marvellous masterclasses for our Prep 5 and Prep 6 pupils.
21 Sep 2023
Written by Cathy Law
Junior School
Inspiring Masterclass for our budding Junior School musicians
Inspiring Masterclass for our budding Junior School musicians

Matt's Journey...

Matt started playing the cello aged 5, taught by his Mum, and aged 8 became a chorister at York Minster. Aged 12, he was fortunate enough to be head hunted and won a full music scholarship to Eton. He represented Yorkshire at swimming and cricket during this time, and was a member of the ISFA England School Boys U16 and 18.

Subsequently, he was awarded a scholarship the the Royal College of Music where he studied for three years before getting a degree and postgraduate degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

After studying, he began to put together a rich portfolio of freelance work, performing regularly for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and teaching cello and chamber music at Eton, amongst other things.

In 2017, he was appointed Director of Music at Bradfield College, a leading secondary independent school. A role he left in December 2022, to relocate to Belfast with his wife and two young sons.

Since moving to Northern Ireland, he has been guest leader of the cello section of the Ulster Orchestra, tutti player with the Ulster Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin and he is also often seen playing with the Arco String Quartet in the Candlelight Concerts at St Anne's Cathedral. He is also about to qualify as an executive, high performance, career coach, something that will utilise the skills he has been developing as a teacher and as a head of department for over twenty years. He is very excited about where this may lead him in the coming years.

Matt's other passion, alongside family, music and coaching, is sport. He completed an Ironman in Switzerland (2015) and this summer swam Lake Ulswater. The weather brought a premature end to this challenge, but he feels that 4 hours and 9kms was enough for his first attempt! Luckily his wife is also a keen runner and their sons are cricket and hockey crazy, so when on 'Dad duties', he can often be found on a playing field!

Matt's Letter to Junior School

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for having me in this morning. It is always a privilege to be able to share my passion, especially with youngsters, and to spread the benefits of a good music education. I hope the children were inspired and felt like instrumental music was accessible for them. I truly believe it crosses all boundaries and is the best way to develop the whole person. Cello is just my vehicle in how to do this!

I would also like to say how impressed I was by the manner in which the Prep 5&6 boys behaved. They participated with a lovely spirit, in a joyous and respectful manner, which is testament to the ethos and staff at Campbell. I loved that some of them wanted to dance to the music and the sincerity of the answers, especially when ask to characterise what they had heard.

Cello numbers are very low at the College, especially for a school of Campbell's standing, and I would love the opportunity to inspire as many pupils as possible to take up the cello. Belfast has so many opportunities available for young musicians, including two wonderful youth orchestras. I have the ability to hire cellos from Stringers of London, should they be needed, and this shouldn't be a reason for people to be reticent! I'm happy to answer any questions pupils or parents may have, however trivial they may seem

Let's hope that we will have lots of cellists, acoustic or electric, taking to the stage of Campbell College soon!

Best

Matt Lowe

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