Nigel Jackson back at the Academy for Junior School’s Cinderella production | Aga Khan Academies

Nigel Jackson back at the Academy for Junior School’s Cinderella production

Nigel Jackson, who has taught music full-time at the Academy for the last three years, is currently spending six weeks in Hyderabad to coordinate and produce the well-known musical Cinderella Rockerfella as the annual Academy Junior School musical with the participation of all Junior School students to be performed on 2 December 2016.

An early starter, Nigel started learning the piano at the age of 4, and then took up violin as a second instrument, aged 12. He joined the school and local youth orchestra in Liverpool, England, setting the foundations for further musical studies. Nigel sang treble and then bass in the Smithills Grammar School choir, played percussion in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Let’s Make an Opera and was accustomed to performing in all sorts of venues – from school prize giving ceremonies to large church functions. Later, as a Bristol University student, he had the opportunity to play in orchestras or sing in choirs for such productions as Handel’s Messiah and Faure’s Requiem. As a pianist, he entered several music festivals, notably the Cheltenham Festival, that gave him the confidence to play, accompany and perform at a wide range of public events.

When he started teaching, he considered music as "purely a hobby" and decided to teach a whole range of general subjects, with occasional input into musicals such as Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Joseph.

“Even now these musicals are exciting and rewarding to perform, and some of them have been performed at the Academy and at other international schools [where] I have taught in Germany, Italy, Ukraine, China, Korea, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Qatar – maybe I’ve missed one or two!” relates Nigel. “Several musical performances at the Academy have been especially rewarding: The Tempest, Scheherazade and Joseph in the Senior School and Jack and the Beanstalk and The Button Box in the Junior School; the costumes, singing, dancing and scripts all being memorable. However, the performance of Alice in Wonderland in the foyer to the AB building with its balcony and soaring roof will remain a very special memory for me.” Nigel was ecstatic after the recently announced 2015–16 academic theory results from Trinity College of Music, UK, by last year’s grade 10 music options group, which he expressed as a "fitting reward" to the end of the students’ two-year course.

And what’s the latest on Cinderella? Well, Junior School students are busily learning the songs, dance routines and lines whilst their teachers collect costumes and stage props for what promises to be a very special performance on Friday, 2 December. We look forward to seeing you there!