Mercè Pi has conducted the Cor Petits de l'Orfeó Català since 2002. Her job is to lay the basis for the training of the boys and girls newly arrived in the Escola Coral, which are just starting out on a musical journey which will take them a very long way. She shares this intensive, motivating task with the pianist Laia Armengol.
Mercè Pi, conductor
"It is a great privilege being able to work with the children in the Cor Petits, because of the joy they communicate and their eagerness to sing better every day, with an enthusiasm which is beyond price. It's vital sustenance for me. I wouldn't change it for anything!"
She studied music at the Badalona Conservatory, where she gained professional qualifications in singing and music theory and the higher qualification in music teaching. She continued her studies with various international singing courses. She is currently studying modern clarinet.
She has always combined teaching work with singing as a member of various choral ensembles. She has been a member of the Cor Lieder Càmera, founded by Josep Vila, and has worked with the Capella de Santa Maria del Mar and the Cor Madrigal.
She has taught at the EMM in Premià de Mar since 1992. Since 2002 she has been a member of the teaching staff at the Escola Coral of the Orfeó Català, as director of the Cor Petits and teacher of musical language. She has worked on educational projects for the Escola Coral to foster choral singing in Bombay and Cameroon. Since 2012, she has collaborated in the social project Clavé XXI of the Escola Coral in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona.
Laia Armengol, pianist
"Playing a part in these children's education is one of the most gratifying jobs I have ever done. Playing with them and experiencing the music all together is indescribable."
Born in Barcelona in 1981, she began her musical training at the age of 6 in the Escola Coral de l'Orfeó Català. She studied piano with Àngel Soler and Diana Baker. In 2002 she graduated from the Conservatori Superior de Música de Barcelona and moved to London to attend classes with Yonty Solomon and Douglas Finch at the Trinity College of Music in London, where she did a postgraduate course as an accompanying pianist and a master's degree in solo performance. She has also been advised by Miquel Farré, Mark Hastings, Francisco Poyato, Josep Colom, Eugene Asti, Roger Vignoles and George Hadjinikos, among others.
She has earned recognition as a soloist and a chamber musician in several competitions, including the Leonard Smith and Felicity Young Duo Competition and the John Halford Piano Competition, among others.
As a soloist and accompanying pianist she has performed in Spain and England. She is currently a performer of chamber music and a pianist accompanying solo singers and choirs.
She has recorded the CD La Fragua de Luna for flute and piano for Columna Música, in the "Young Performers" series through Juventudes Musicales de España and recently he has recorded the record Músicas Electricos with Morphosis Ensemble (Ins Records), ensemble specialized in contemporary music.
She has been working as a piano accompanist in the Escola Coral de l'Orfeó Català education project to foster choral singing in Yaoundé (Cameroon).
On the teaching side she has worked at the Conservatori Municipal de Música in Barcelona, at the Escola Municipal de Música Can Ponsic and currently does so at the Escola Coral de l'Orfeó Català and IEA Oriol Martorell.