Dr. Shelley Katz and Diana Gilchrist are Canadian musicians who have been based in Europe for over twenty years. Diana has a regular weekly presence at the BISC and Shelley visits during each term to give occasional concerts, lectures, lecture-recitals, workshops, or master-classes.
Shelley is a pianist and conductor with Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Julliard in New York. He is also a music technologist, with a PhD from Surrey University, who holds several patents. As a performer, his career takes him around the world and as a researcher he is the Director of the Surrey University Symphonova Project and a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.
Diana is an opera singer who founded Ottawa's Opera Lyra and was its Artistic Director until moving to Europe to pursue her singing career. Her performances take her to many capitals of the world. She currently combines performing with her work at the BISC and PhD studies at the University of Edinburgh.
What do they do at the BISC?
In addition to musical activities, such as choir and chamber choir, which are offered on a regular basis throughout the year, either Diana or Shelley (or both) provide one major event such as a concert, lecture recital, workshop or master-class each term. During the term students may also audition for a student showcase performance which Diana directs as part of the End of Term Celebrations. Dates for specific activities or events are scheduled prior to the start of each term and can be found on the BISC website and through Student Services.
- Choir, chamber choir and other vocal ensembles
- Trips to Cambridge for joint choral performances with Cambridge choral scholars
- Student performances at the castle and in other UK venues
- Opportunities to make music with members of the local community
- Opportunities to be involved with and/or perform with cutting edge music technology
- Orchestral and instrumental ensembles (the BISC does not have any orchestral instruments so students wanting to play in ensembles are asked to bring their own instruments or to rent instruments locally while they are here)
- Master-classes for students who already play an instrument or sing
- Music theatre and drama workshops
- Music technology and electronic music workshops
- Trips to opera, ballet and other classical performances in London, Glyndebourne and at local venues
- Preparatory lectures for opera and ballet trips
- Opera viewing evenings
- A concert series featuring international professional musicians, such as Symphonova - World First
- Students may request private singing lessons with Diana and she can help arrangement instrumental lessons or singing lessons with other teachers in London or locally. The hourly charge for private lessons is linked to the Queen’s School of Music rates. Please contact Diana for further details.
Facilities on Site
Grand piano in the Elizabethan Room: This instrument may be played by any student, faculty or staff member when the Elizabethan Room is not otherwise in use. The piano, which is also used for functions, is kept regularly tuned and users are respectfully asked not to mistreat it!
Baby Grand Piano in the Music Studio: This instrument is on loan to the BISC so piano students who wish to practice in privacy may ask Diana for permission to use it. A list of those allowed to use the piano will be kept at Castle Reception where a key to the Music Studio may be signed out.
Music Studio: This winterized porta-cabin is located in the grounds and is alarmed. In addition to housing the Baby Grand Piano it also serves as a practice space where students may leave their instruments. Permission to sign up for key privileges to this space must be given by Diana. A list of students with permission to use the Music Studio will be held at Castle Reception along with keys which can be signed out. Rules of use apply.
Digital Keyboard: Student Services has a portable digital keyboard which can be used for Open Mic nights in the pub and other events. Students wishing to have access to the keyboard should contact Student Services.
Guitars: Student Services has various guitars that are available on loan from Bader Hall reception. Anyone interested in borrowing one should contact Student Services.
Yamaha Digital Grand: This instrument belongs to Shelley and Diana and is housed in the Film & Video room where it is used primarily for teaching purposes.
Bechstein Concert Grand: This instrument belongs to Shelley and Diana and is housed in the Faculty Lounge of David Smith Hall. It may only be accessed by faculty and enquiries should be directed to Shelley or Diana.
Steinway Concert Grand: The Steinway Concert Grand which is housed in the Ballroom is a splendid and very expensive instrument. It is reserved for concert and professional use and students may be able to hear professional performances on it during the year. While the Steinway is not for student use there may be certain special musical occasions when, with Shelley's permission, and under his guidance, advanced piano students may be able to perform on this wonderful instrument. Any questions about the Steinway may be addressed to Shelley or Diana.
You can also find us in: Room 204 (ext. 4487) or making music in any of the above music spaces!