Meet the student. Talking with..... Omre Urmani
While we're in lockdown and learning remotely we'll be catching up with some of the DaCapo teachers and students so you can get to know them a little better.
How long have you been coming to DaCapo?
I started at DaCapo when I was 3, so that is 13 years ago now, and in those 13 years, it has become a big part of my life as I can barely remember a time before I started coming to DaCapo.
What’s your usual programme of lessons and groups on a Saturday?
On a Saturday, my day starts with Blue Purple Musicianship before the Café Concert. After that I have a Singing lesson with Bert and then straight to guitar attacca, one of my favourite parts of the day as I get to play some amazing pieces with other guitarists, I also credit much of my sight-reading skills to guitar attacca. After that, I have my guitar lesson with Josh, who has taught me for the vast majority of my time at Da Capo; and then I finish off with Blue Purple Chamber, which gives a different experience to guitar ensemble as I have to fit the guitar into a role it wasn't designed for, which has been a great learning experience.
What’s your favourite Da Capo café lunch?
Every week I have two slices of pizza with my name on it, thanks to Vern!
How are you spending lockdown Saturdays?
I've been playing a lot of music over the lockdown period, trying out a whole load of new repetoire to be able to perform once we get out of lockdown. Also, I've been trying to pick up some new instruments, which much to the despair of my neighbours includes the bugle. Also this Saturday (25 April) I am doing a 26-hour Drumathon challenge in aid of the NHS, which is being streamed to Youtube, you can watch it here!
and if you want to donate to help the cause you can do it here.
What instruments do you play?
I started out learning guitar at DaCapo, and then later on became more interested in singing as well, mainly through choirs, so then I decided to have singing lessons as well. I also really enjoy composing so learning some basic keyboard skills was necessary. A few years ago, I joined a Corps of Drums where I learnt to play the fife, a B♭ flute, and also the side drum; currently, I'm also trying to teach myself the bugle. Also around that same time, I took up orchestral percussion, due to my love of orchestral music and the lack of guitar parts, which has been probably the most challenging due to the fact that as a percussionist you're expected to be able to play any percussion, whether it be the timpani or the vibraphone or the cymbals, depending on the needs of the orchestra often having to switch multiple times during a piece.
What’s your favourite piece of music? And your favourite composer?
I really love choral music, one of my favourites is Parry's "I Was Glad", It's a really triumphant piece and it also has an emotional connection as my choir sings it at the end of every year for the leavers. Another thing I really like is musical theatre songs and I have to say my favourite composer right now is Lin-Manuel Miranda as I really can never get tired of listening to his musicals.
Can you share a recommendation: youtube video, book, movie, TV show…
If you haven't yet watched at least a few minutes of this year's Mountbatten festival of music this year, I suggest you do. There is such a great variety of music being played that there's something for everyone.
Have you taken up or rediscovered any pastimes or interests during the lockdown?
I have been trying to learn to play the bugle recently. It's been a slow process as I've never played a brass instrument before.
What are you looking forward to most when lockdown is over?
I can't wait to go back to all the ensembles I'm a part of in DaCapo and in School, as one of my favourite parts of making music is making music with others.
What’s your favourite DaCapo memory?
A moment I still remember vividly was in 2017 when I performed Blackbird in a Café Concert. It was the first time that I performed a solo performance and didn't feel nervous at all. Through performing so many times before I had gained the confidence to just be able to perform the song without feeling anxious beforehand. Since that performance, I have never felt nervous before a performance, instead now that nervousness has changed to excitement every time I'm about to go onstage.