Anna Beresford

Anna is a third-year student on the MusB Music course at Manchester. Here, she talks about her experience of the course so far and her plans for the future.

On my current studies

It's both exciting and terrifying that it is nearly the end of the year! I'm trying my best to balance doing my work, coming up to final performances and getting the most out of socialising whilst we're all still here.

Anna Beresford

I'm currently preparing for my final conducting assessment and trying to finish my dissertation, The maestro myth and its impact on the modern day conductor: an investigation into conducting and leadership.

It's about modern leadership practices and ways of incorporating these into a conductor's toolbox.

My final recital is split into two performances. For the first, I conducted Britten's Hymn to Saint Cecilia with the university chamber choir, Ad Solem. It was an amazing performance, so I'm really looking forward to the next assessment which is with the University of Manchester Chamber Orchestra, and I'll be conducting Wagner's symphonic poem, Siegfried Idyll.

We have to submit rehearsal videos as well as show off the very best of our conducting on the day.

On conducting at Manchester

The University of Manchester has a wonderful and unique conducting programme, and it's been great for my development to take rehearsals several times a week.

You learn so much in a very short amount of time - you have to throw yourself at the opportunity to take it all in!

My highlight so far is definitely the Opera project, but the big symphony orchestra concerts are also exhilarating.

I am also a part of the Sorrell Women Conductors Programme with Sian Edwards, Head of Conducting at the Royal Academy in London. I was delighted to be selected to take part in four weekend courses with four other female conductors for this.

It's designed to bridge the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate conducting, and it was an incredible experience.

On my plans for the future

This is the question nobody wants to be asked in third year!

I'm planning to take a year or two studying and travelling around the country to watch orchestras and to learn more about conducting, then apply to study at postgraduate level.

I've got my eye on a couple of amateur conducting jobs, but really I'm on the lookout for opportunities at the moment.