The Norfolk YMT Team
Meet the award-winning Norfolk YMT Team
Adrian Connell – In the late 60’s Adrian studied piano with Ida Griffin in Northampton who also taught the concert pianist David Own Norris. He wrote several compositions for the newly formed Northampton Youth Orchestra and met the English composer Trevor Hold who briefly taught him and steered him to have lessons off the musicologist, Will Yeoman. Will’s lessons were inspirational, involving visits to the V&A music collection, filming for Thames Television, playing Saxon instruments and visits to Sadler Wells in London. With Will, Adrian studied harmony, stylistic composition and piano for three years. Later in 1978 he studied for a degree in music at the UEA and for an LRAM with the concert pianist, Sydney Harrison in London. After university he taught in several Norfolk schools and conducted over 30 musicals for many Norfolk Operatic Societies. After a spell helping at the National Youth Music Theatre in the late 80’s Adrian set up the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre. He has now been stage director for around 80 shows for the company and received outstanding reviews for all of them as well as many awards. His casts have won 14 NODA Awards, (more than any company in East Anglia), and his Edinburgh Festival shows regularly receive 4 star and 5 star reviews. The company has had many professional writers and directors associated with it and has a growing alumni of professional actors and singers who have worked with Adrian and the Norfolk YMT.
Adrian puts the group’s continuing success down to his solid professional training whilst a young man in Northampton and to a lifetime of experience in watching and working with professional and amateur directors and to 40 years’ experience in staging musicals with young people.
John has worked in theatre and singing for many years now. Life took over the dream of walking the boards professionally so he was delighted when Adrian brought him out of a 20 year absence playing the man in Whistle Down the Wind. Since then John has helped Adrian and Norfolk YMT in several productions assisting Adrian in directing, the recent run of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon in Edinburgh, perhaps the highlights. This new production brings unique challenges for any director and once again John is indebted to Adrian for the opportunity of working with such a talented group of youngsters.
Marina has been working as a teacher in Norfolk for the last 14 years and set up her own dance school, Norwich School of Dance, twelve years ago to offer classes, exams and performance experiences to students of all ages and abilities. Marina has been involved with the choreography of many of the Norfolk YMT shows and has had a number of students who have performed with the Norfolk YMT as well as being involved in other productions.