Trinity welcomes new Director of Co-Curricular Music.
Music is for everyone, says Michael McGregor, conductor, singer, violinist and now Trinity’s new Director of Co-Curricular Music.
“The idea that musical ability is bestowed by universal energies on a few gifted individuals is simply not true,” Dr McGregor said.
“Music is for everyone and in everyone; tapping into it is all that’s required. It’s about access and opportunity.”
Dr McGregor, who grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches before studying at the University of Western Australia and University of Oxford, is a firm believer in fast-tracking essential musical skills, even for students with no musical background.
He says learning to read music is little different from learning a language.
He got an early start to his own musical education as one of six children in a household where playing an instrument was mandatory; he started violin at seven and piano at eight.
His tenor voice got its first outing in the choir at his local church, St Mary’s in Manly, but is now well used to performing solo in front of large audiences.
It’s conducting, however, that has come to consume much of his energies and passions.
“It’s the thing I love best,” he said.
“I love taking players or choirs on a journey, exposing them to an excellent and culturally significant repertoire and seeing their enjoyment.
“The ultimate rush is pulling off a concert where the audience hopefully will rejoice in a more advanced level of performance than they had been anticipating.”
Whilst completing his doctorate in music education at Oxford, he taught at the nearby Oratory School then spent two years from 2006 as Director of Music at the British School of Beijing.
He returned to Australia to spend three years as Head of Music at McDonald College of Performing Arts in North Strathfield.
For the past nine years he has been Director of Music at Reddam House in Woollahra, where he instituted live music for the school’s ballet program, including the Nutcracker Suite, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
Over the course of his career he has conducted some 30 school musicals, including favourites like Oklahoma, Oliver, Cats, The Sound Of Music and most recently Tarzan.
He has three children and is married to a cellist.
At Trinity he hopes to build on the “tremendous musical legacy” already established by his predecessor Phil Pratt and to “explore the possible”, saying: “Anything can happen if you let it.”
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