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Dr Christopher Wiley convenes student panel discussion at University of Surrey Teaching Symposium

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Dr Christopher Wiley facilitated a student discussion panel at the University of Surrey’s sixth annual Surrey ExciTeS (Excellence in Teaching Symposium) on Wednesday 3 April 2019, on the subject of student-staff partnerships.

The forum, entitled ‘Giving music students ownership of their learning’, discussed the Music Project module that had taken place during the previous semester on the theme of musical theatre, and the wide range of activities that students undertook in their assessments, from performances to compositions to organizational roles.

The panel of undergraduate Music students – Diana Nemyrovska, Katy Jackson, Heather Neele, and Edward Bellett-Travers (pictured, l-r) – answered questions from academics and learning support staff from across the University.

Dr Wiley has delivered sessions at Surrey ExciTeS events in 2018201720162015, and 2014, including a previous student discussion panel in 2017.

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes 50th review for Musical Theatre Review

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Musical Theatre ReviewDr Christopher Wiley has written 50 reviews since February 2014 for the digital magazine Musical Theatre Review, which covers a wide variety of live events internationally, ranging from pop gigs to opera in addition to musical theatre, and is Vuelio’s no.2 theatre blog.

Among the many highlights of Dr Wiley’s activity include reviews of Elaine Paige’s ‘Stripped Back’ tour, of Mandela Trilogy by Cape Town Opera at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and of the international première of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.

Other highlights include the 2014 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel; Sinatra: The Main Event at Cadogan Hall, London, starring Richard Shelton; and solo shows by leading West End stars Daniel Koek and Nadim Naaman.

Coincidentally, Dr Wiley’s first and 50th reviews were of two shows written and performed by the same artist, comic songwriter Alexander S. Bermange. The artist most frequently reviewed by Dr Wiley is Pippa Winslow, who features in seven different reviews.

Dr Wiley has also reviewed student productions by many of the major performing arts institutions and organisations, particularly Guildford School of Acting and Youth Music Theatre UK; as well as many new works of musical theatre, and one-off productions in popular London venues such as The Pheasantry.

A complete listing of Dr Wiley’s reviews for Musical Theatre Review is available at the following link: http://musicaltheatrereview.com/?s=Christopher+Wiley

Dr Christopher Wiley convenes student panel discussion at University of Surrey Teaching Symposium

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student-discussion-panel-at-surrey-excites-2017Dr Christopher Wiley organized a student discussion panel at the University of Surrey’s fourth annual Surrey ExciTeS (Excellence in Teaching Symposium) on Wednesday 4 January 2017.

Entitled ‘Exploring the potential benefits of online discussion forums in enabling students to become agents of research-led teaching’, the session focused on Dr Wiley’s use of a student-led online discussion forum in his final-year undergraduate module on musical theatre.

The panel of Music students and recent graduates, comprising Karen Taylor, Octavius Longcroft-Wheaton, and Jadene Doak (pictured, l-r), addressed questions from academics drawn from across the University.

Dr Wiley has led sessions at all three of the previous Surrey ExciTeS events in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The full programme for 2017 symposium (including abstracts) is available here: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/dhe/surrey_excites/Surrey%20ExciTes%202017%20Programme.pdf

Dr Wiley convenes inaugural School of Arts ‘Opportunities and Networking’ event at the University of Surrey

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School of Arts 'Opportunities and Networking' Event, University of Surrey

The School of Arts at the University of Surrey held its first ‘Opportunities and Networking’ event in the Ivy main auditorium, Ivy Arts Centre on Thursday 8 October 2015, organized by Dr Christopher Wiley.

Over 100 students were in attendance across the subject areas of Music and Sound Recording, Theatre, Dance, Digital Media Arts, and the Guildford School of Acting.

The event introduced students to the many different possibilities for them to collaborate with one another on different School of Arts programmes, provided them with information about extra-curricular University activities related to the arts, facilitated their networking with students elsewhere in the School, and enabled them to register their interest in collaborating with one another via sign-up sheets.

Dr Wiley compèred the event, which featured contributions from range of other School of Arts staff as well as students. The evening ended with a series of networking activities designed to enable students to meet one another and to discuss their interests in collaborating on arts projects, followed by more informal opportunities to chat over pizza and soft drinks.

This ‘Opportunities and Networking’ event follows in the footsteps of an equally successful and well-attended panel discussion on ‘Careers in the Arts’, co-organized by Dr Wiley and hosted by the School of Arts earlier in the year.

Dr Christopher Wiley writes on ‘Les Misérables at 30’ for The Conversation

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Les MisérablesDr Christopher Wiley has contributed an article to The Conversation on the enduring popularity of Les Misérables, the world’s most successful musical, ahead of the 30th anniversary of its London production on 8 October 2015.

Dr Wiley’s article, ‘Les Misérables at 30: breaking hearts and records’, discussed aspects of the show’s plot and musical score, the role played by writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and by producer Cameron Mackintosh, as well as more recent developments such as Tom Hooper’s 2012 film adaptation.

The full article may be read here: https://theconversation.com/les-miserables-at-30-breaking-hearts-and-records-48535

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has written for The Conversation, the first being a scholarly response to Stephen Fry, which has received 4,000 hits to date.

Founded in Australia in 2011 and launched in the UK in 2013, The Conversation is an independent global news website featuring stories and opinions sourced from the scholarly community. The University of Surrey is one of its founding UK partners.

Update: Dr Wiley’s Les Misérables article received over 1,300 hits by the end of 8 October (UK time), with readers fairly evenly distributed between the UK, US, Australia, and Continental Europe.

Dr Christopher Wiley is featured on the Turning Technologies website and Surrey Research Insight blog

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EVS as a Springboard for Student EngagementDr Christopher Wiley has recently been profiled in an interview on the Surrey Research Insight blog as well as a case study written by Turning Technologies.

Turning Technologies’ feature on Dr Wiley’s pioneering use of electronic voting systems (EVS) in arts and humanities teaching, ‘TurningPoint in the Arts: Electronic Voting Systems as a Springboard for Student Engagement’, was published on their website on 14 April 2015. It discussed various aspects of Dr Wiley’s use of EVS in higher education teaching including multiple-choice questions that test deep-level understanding, game-based learning employed alongside flipped classroom techniques, and the technology’s moment to moment and demographic comparison features.

Surrey Research Insight (SRI), which manages the open access repository of academic publications for the University of Surrey, interviewed Dr Wiley in a blog post entitled ‘SRI talks to Dr Christopher Wiley’, which appeared on 1 May 2015. Dr Wiley spoke about his published work on Michael Jackson (which is available on open access), his interests in musical theatre and film music, and his current research on literature and music and on student evaluation of teaching.

The full texts may be viewed at the following links:

Surrey Research Insight: https://surreyresearchinsight.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/sri-talks-to-dr-christopher-wiley/

Turning Technologies: http://www.turningtechnologies.com/pdf/content/INTLCaseStudy-UniSurrey-DrWiley.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes 20th review for Musical Theatre Review

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Musical Theatre ReviewDr Christopher Wiley has contributed 20 reviews over the past year to the digital magazine Musical Theatre Review, which covers a wide variety of live musical theatre events internationally.

Highlights of Dr Wiley’s activity include reviews of the acclaimed revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Arcola Theatre, London; of Sinatra: The Main Event at Cadogan Hall, London, starring Richard Shelton; and of the international première of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.

Dr Wiley has also enjoyed reviewing student productions by Guildford School of Acting, Performance Preparation Academy, and Youth Music Theatre UK; as well as new musical theatre works presented in Guildford and the neighbouring areas, and several live gigs at The Pheasantry, London. His reviews have attracted much attention on social media.

A complete listing of Dr Wiley’s reviews for Musical Theatre Review is available at the following link: http://www.scoop.it/t/christopher-wiley-bibliography-of-reviews

Dr Christopher Wiley gives expert comment to The Telegraph and The Independent on Sunday

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Let It Go - FrozenDr Christopher Wiley has contributed expert comment to an article appearing in The Telegraph on 16 December 2014, on the continuing success of ‘Let It Go’ from Disney’s Frozen.

‘5 reasons why Frozen’s Let It Go is so addictive’ by Alice Vincent may be read at the following link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/11296986/Frozen-let-it-go-why-so-popular.html

Dr Wiley is quoted a total of six times in the course of the article, as a specialist in musical theatre and music and the moving image.

This press appearance comes three weeks after comments from Dr Wiley opened an article in The Independent on Sunday, ‘All you need is a music qualification’ by Widget Finn (23 November 2014), on studying Masters degrees in music.

Update: Dr Wiley has also given interviews on the Frozen news story for Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Radio (30 December, four bulletins) and West Hertfordshire’s Radio Verulam (28 December, live). An article featuring Dr Wiley was published on Eagle Radio’s website on 30 December (now cached).

Update: Dr Wiley was also quoted in this iTech Post article from 26 December 2016: http://www.itechpost.com/articles/68632/20161226/frozens-go-experts-explain-songs-popularity-through-science.htm

Update: Separately from the above, Dr Wiley was quoted on Frozen in this South Wales Life article from 17 January 2020: https://southwaleslife.com/frozen-the-musical/

Dr Christopher Wiley gives pre-screening talks at the University of Surrey

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007 logoDr Christopher Wiley has delivered two pre-screening talks at the University of Surrey as part of its programme of film screenings in the Rik Medlik Building during the 2014/15 season.

Dr Wiley’s talk ‘Music and the James Bond Phenomenon’ preceded a screening of Goldfinger on 23 October 2014, which inaugurated a series dedicated to some of the best-loved Bond films. The 45-minute presentation examined the celebrated phenomenon of the theme songs to individual Bond films as well as their relationship to their associated films’ musical scores, showing how they have become an integral and instantly recognizable part of the franchise.

On 5 November 2014, Dr Wiley gave his talk ‘Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in Context’ prior to a screening of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, part of a scheduled series of films directed by Tim Burton. Dr Wiley discussed the literary origins of the Sweeney Todd story, situated Sondheim’s musical within his wider theatrical output, and explored the show’s cinematic adaptation.

Both events were well received by their respective audiences – more people attended Dr Wiley’s pre-screening talk on Sweeney Todd than stayed on to watch the film itself!

Dr Christopher Wiley facilitates workshop on electronic voting systems at ICICTE 2013, Crete

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Dr Christopher Wiley facilitated a workshop on electronic voting systems at the International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education (ICICTE) in Chania, Crete on 5 July 2013.

Dr Christopher Wiley at ICICTE 2013, CreteDr Wiley’s presentation, entitled ‘Increasing Instructional Interactivity with Turning Technologies Response Technology’, was chaired and moderated by Jay Carpenter, UK Territory Manager from Turning Technologies.

Highlights of Dr Wiley’s presentation included findings from his research into student engagement with electronic voting systems, aspects of his own teaching in musical theatre and pop music, and even a dodecaphonic piece improvised on an iPad piano app.

Last year, Dr Wiley became the first ever person from the arts and humanities appointed to Turning Technologies’ global Distinguished Educator programme (see here).

The day’s programme for the conference may be accessed at the following link: http://www.icicte.org/ICICTE13Programme3.htm

A review of the conference by Olivia Fox may be found here: http://blogs.city.ac.uk/educationalvignettes/2013/08/01/review-of-icicte-technology-innovations-conference/

Dr Christopher Wiley curates major Musical Theatre concert

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A major Musical Theatre concert featuring students of City University London, curated by Dr Christopher Wiley, was presented in the University’s Performance Space on Tuesday 19 March 2013, to tie in with the ‘Musical Theatre’ module currently being delivered by Dr Wiley on the BMus programme.

The concert’s broad range of solo numbers included ‘The Man I Love’ (Lady Be Good), ‘If I Loved You’ (Carousel), ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ (Guys and Dolls), ‘So Long, Dearie’ (Hello, Dolly!), ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ (The Phantom of the Opera), ‘Why, God, Why?’ (Miss Saigon), ‘There’s a Fine, Fine Line’ (Avenue Q), ‘Falling Slowly’ (Once), and ‘Left Behind’ (Spring Awakening).

Kiss Me, Kate in rehearsalAlso featured were the chorus numbers ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ and ‘One Day More’ (Les Misérables) performed by the City University Musical Theatre Chorus, a staged version of ‘What is this Feeling’ (Wicked), and a set by the City University Big Band that included ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’ (Shall We Dance), ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ (The Wizard of Oz), and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ (We Will Rock You).

Some 60 performers were involved in the concert, which attracted a sell-out audience. Other highlights included the fully staged chorus ‘Another Op’nin’, Another Show’ (Kiss Me, Kate; shown above in rehearsal) to start the event, and a choreographed ‘Cell Block Tango’ (Chicago) featuring the City Block Tango Dancers.

For further information, please see: http://www.city.ac.uk/events/2013/march/a-night-at-the-musicals

Update: A promotional video about the concert and its associated academic module, featuring interviews from the students as well as footage of lectures and of the performance itself, was released in June 2013 and may be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC01cbDvaw0

Dr Christopher Wiley returns to Radio Verulam in 2013

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Dr Christopher Wiley returned to Radio Verulam on 6 and 13 January 2013 as a guest on the Arts Programme, speaking in his capacity as a professional musicologist based in the St Albans area.

Presenter Alexander S. Bermange interviewed Chris live on a variety of recent developments in the world of music and musical theatre, including the UK release on 11 January of the film version of Les Misérables, whose all-star cast is led by Hugh Jackman.

Chris has become a semi-regular guest on the show in recent months, having made five appearances since April last year (see here).

Chris (left) and Alexander (right) are pictured below at the Radio Verulam studio.

Christopher Wiley and Alexander S. Bermange

Chris spoke on Radio Verulam again a few months later, on 5 May, giving a live telephone interview on Ghost: The Musical, which had recently returned to London.