Pop Goes the Music at Borgo’s Music School

Borgo a Mozzano’s Azalea festival finale was enlivened by one of two concerts I attended on that day. Given by pupils of Borgo’s ‘Marco Salotti’ music school, it showed off the skills (and confidence) acquired by young students doing the school’s course on pop and rock music.

Ballads, punk, the Lennon song and many more pieces including those by Bob Marley, Oasis, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan were performed by the students under bright – but not too hot – sunshine in the courtyard of the elegant Palazzo Santini, (where Borgo’s public library is housed). It was a truly festive and well-attended event.

A pupil is only as good as a teacher can inspire him/her to become. It’s worth listing the teachers here: drums, Federico Cardelli, singing, Serena Salotti and Serena Suffredini, guitar, Nicola Rossi and Zeno Marchi, keyboard,  Graziella Corsaro and Riccardo Pieri. The music groups were coordinated by  Federico Cardelli.

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(‘Marco Salotti’ Music School Director, Serena Salotti – new baby in adjoining pram!)

Zeno Marchi, the son of talented artist and restorer Simonetta Cassai, is a brilliant devotee of the electric guitar and has recently been appointed teacher of the instrument at the school. Just twenty years old, Zeno has the world before him and has already made a big impact on the music scene, especially in blues and jazz bands.

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(Zeno Marchi)

Zeno’s fb page is at:


There are, of course, plenty of other courses at the school which has its origins back in 1983. Sadly, maestro Marco Salotti died prematurely but his daughters carried on his fine example of music teaching with indomitable courage and the school, under the presidency of Antonio Rondina (brother of Francesco, the architect), is a very thriving institution!

Scuola Civica di Musica Salotti has a web site at:


and also a facebook page at


both with more information about its courses and events.

It’s so important to keep music teaching and learning going in schools, especially at a time when some educational philistines think it is superfluous to other activities. Since I was at primary school, music-making (albeit on an amateur basis) has been an important part of my life. At Dalmain School I learnt singing and playing the violin. We even did a concert in Lewisham town hall under our teacher, Mr Squires, who would cycle to his appointments with a violin-case strapped securely on his back.

At my secondary school the orchestra played in the Royal Festival Hall and we performed some considerable works including Vaughan-Williams’ ‘In Windsor Forest’, and Britten’s ‘Saint Nicholas’ (which received a commendatory letter from the composer).

At university, as part of the opera society there, we performed (among other pieces) Berlioz’ ‘Beatrice and Benedict’ under David Atherton’s baton.

Here in Italy I sing in a local choir, am a collaborator and contributor to the English version of ‘LuccaMusica’ (see http://www.luccamusica.it/language/en/ ) which lists all the musical events in Lucchesia (and sometimes beyond) and also has some interesting articles. (Have you read my most recent one at http://www.luccamusica.it/2016/03/giacomo-puccini-italo-svevo-e-arturo-rietti/ yet?)

A world without music would seem inconceivable. A school without music classes would be an unpardonable scandal!


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