Percussionist, Jonathan Mansfield, is a keen classical and jazz musician. His most recent achievement was winning 2nd prize in the Junior Guildhall Tuned Percussion Competition in March.
We profile him through his biography, and he gives us a taste of his daily routine and experiences here at Chetham’s.
Jonathan Mansfield is from Huddersfield and started playing percussion at the age of five, performing in the local Junior Wind and Big Bands. He later joined the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and his local county Youth Orchestra.
In 2010, Jonathan began his studies at Chetham’s School of Music studying with Paul Patrick, Dave Hext, Sophie Hastings and Dave Walsh. At Chetham’s, he participates in many ensembles such as Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, Big Band, Brass Band, Wind Band and Improvisation classes. He also performs as one half of a percussion duet, which he started with another percussionist at Chetham’s. In 2011, Jonathan became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed at the BBC Proms in London.
He has played in many venues across the UK such as the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican in London, as well as The Bridgewater Hall, Sage Gateshead, and Snape Maltings. As a keen jazz musician, Jonathan has also performed at Band on the Wall, Manchester, Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Royal College of Music Britten Theatre.
Jonathan has participated in master classes with percussionists such as Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic, Michael Burritt and Joby Burgess.
When not playing music, Jonathan enjoys activities such as cycling and football.
In September, Jonathan will begin his undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
My Experiences and Daily Routine at Chetham’s School of Music
I have been studying at Chetham’s for the last three and a half years now, which has been a great learning experience musically, educationally and socially. The main reasons for me having such an amazing time at Chetham’s is due to the incredible teachers, great friends, really good concert opportunities and the general mood that is been consistent throughout my time at Chets – calm but focused, which is the mind-set that nearly all students adhere to.
My standard day at school is jam-packed. I tend to get up early enough to go for a run or do a good warm up in before breakfast. From eight thirty until ten thirty I usually have one academic lesson and the other hour I practice. I usually plan my day out so that I don’t end up wasting time. Then from eleven until one, I have another academic lesson for the first hour and then usually would have an instrumental lesson for another hour. I am fortunate to study with excellent teachers – Paul Patrick, Dave Hext, Sophie Hastings.
After lunch there are a further two hours of the working day, which I devote to practicing. On Wednesdays there is a performance class where students have the opportunity to perform to their department. I try to make the most of this opportunity, as it’s a great way of getting lots of opinions and ways of improving performance from students and Mr Chatterton, my Head of Instrumental Department.
In the evening, I have two hours of rehearsals usually with jazz groups arranged formally by the School or informally by the students. I thoroughly enjoy this side of my playing especially jazz vibraphone. Then I will tend to do another hour of practice before heading back up to my room where I relax with a cup a tea with my friends.
Throughout the week I have an hour and a half individual tuition on my principal study, a half an hour lesson on drum kit. I also have a half an hour kit class with Oren, another percussionist, when we learn about playing together and working as one if there is more than one drummer playing a part. Usually between duos we receive a lesson from a teacher once a week, which is really great fun, and something I really enjoy doing. Recently, in my sax and vibraphone duo with Nick Seymour, we had a lesson with Andy Scott, who composed Nemesis – an amazing piece for the combination of instruments. It was great getting to work with an amazing composer and performer. Also, It has been great playing with Ela Young learning Chieba by Jan Bradley – a really exciting piece.
Overall I have found my experience at Chetham’s to be a truly fulfilling time.