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June 20 2013.

Phil McMullen,17, has been the Junior Musical Director (MD) at the Barn Theatre for nearly two years, volunteering and working alongside young people at the community youth theatre group, Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors (SMTJ).

The National Operatic and Dramatic Association Summer School offers an unrivalled training opportunity for all those involved in amateur theatre and SMTJ wanted to invest in its young MD and fundraised and looked for support from the community.

The Rotary Club of Seaford was delighted to help and made a donation of £330 which will enable Phil to attend the Summer School. The experience that Phil will gain from this course in August will benefit over 40 young members of the group when he returns from the University of Warwick in Coventry.

Phil will be working with a professional MD and Director to:

• gain a 'warts and all' insight into exactly what is involved in being an effective MD

• learn how to get the best from on and off stage colleagues

• gain the confidence to tackle a range of musical styles, working on arrangements and part singing, style and vocal technique with performers

• learn basic conducting technique and put it into practice with a live band and company in sitzprobe* and performance work with soloists, ensemble and orchestra to create the desired 'sound'

On Tuesday this week, President Elect Mike Logan went along to a rehearsal at the Barn Theatre to meet the budding impresario, together with SMTJ co-founder Paula Woolven.

For more information go to  

*Sitzprobe is a term used in opera and musical theatre to describe a seated rehearsal - usually when bringing an orchestra and singing group together when they've been rehearsing separately and how to do it gradually until they're all 'one production'.

Pictured above: Phil McMullen, Paula Woolven and Mike Logan.