Celebrity recital marks Regis School of Music anniversary

Leading clarinettist Emma Johnson will be in concert as The Regis School of Music in Bognor celebrates its 27th anniversary.
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Emma’s celebrity recital will be in the School of Music, 46 Sudley Road, Bognor Regis on Saturday, September 23 at 7.30pm. Tickets £18 booked in advance; members: £15; under-18s free. Booking: 01243 866462 or email: [email protected] or at the door.

Alexander Levtov, who set up the Regis School of Music and runs it still, is delighted to welcome her: “The clarinet is a wonderful instrument but the majority of the time you hear it in an orchestra and you don't hear many times the clarinet as a solo instrument in its own right. You think of the violin and cello and piano being so recognised as solo instruments but with the clarinet it is very rare but Emma's great achievement is that she has made the clarinet recognised the world over as a solo instrument. She started by winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year but she has continued building up the repertoire and there is a really wonderful repertoire.”

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It's a great way for the school to celebrate. The Regis School of Music was opened on September 16 1996 with a recital by Richard Baker and Rafael Terroni, a performance entitled Scenes from Childhood. It attracted a big audience.

Emma Johnson will perform in Bognor Regis (contributed pic)Emma Johnson will perform in Bognor Regis (contributed pic)
Emma Johnson will perform in Bognor Regis (contributed pic)

“We were very encouraged by this first, memorable event and we put all our energy into making the school a centre for live music and numerous other cultural activities.

“It really doesn't seem 27 years. We didn't know what was going to happen or how it was going to go. We just wanted to do as much as we could in the moment but we have just had so many friends and now we've got so many artists that are wanting to come back. And significantly we have had so many young musicians that have gone on to become professionals.”

Alexander believes the success of the school is down to the fact that “what we do is needed and we love what we do. It is the importance of art and in particular music in our lives, in our age. Things have changed quite a lot around us with the internet and so on and so many distractions for modern children but music is one of the ways for bringing then back to concentration. As much as we can we are now trying to introduce the digital world into what we do but still live performance is absolutely the most important thing, to get students to perform live in front of an audience and to enjoy that special connection that they get with them. Live performance is crucial to the school though as I say we are trying to introduce the digital world. Things have changed particularly with exams and people can now do a recording for an exam and I've also turned the school into a cinema hall. We've got a good projector and we put the screen across the stage and I show special educational compilations on the great artists and the great composers. But we've also included a film club in school.”

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