"A very accomplished composer"
- Paul Cassidy, Brodsky Quartet, Birmingham Post
"He showed ability to express his musical ideas to a very high standard. Outstanding communication with the orchestra, brilliant technique, excellent knowledge of the score."
Panel feedback, RNCM SPS Orchestral Conducting examination, Royal Northern College of Music. Mark: 95% , conducting of Schubert symphonic movement
"Just to thank you all [Bedworth Symphony Orchestra and conductor / workshop leader Iain Masson] for the workshop you provided for our pupils on Saturday. The workshop was a great success and the pupils certainly enjoyed playing with more experienced musicians. Thank you also for your patience and encouragement towards the children. I am sure that the pupils who participated will have benefited greatly from the experience. Special thanks are due to Iain, for his positive leadership of the workshop, and to Helen [Pulford] for liasing so efficiently prior to the day. We hope we can maintain some links with the BSO in the future."
- Gaynor Larkin (Head of Music, Coundon Court School and Community College, Coventry)
[PGDip Paper: 'THE ROLE OF MUSIC EDUCATION WITHIN THE COMMUNITY'] "An excellent piece of work, reflecting the ability to deliver education work at a professional standard and draw upon extensive prior experience.... Imaginative work that shows independent research and originality, supported by a range of teaching materials. The self evaluation is expressive, demonstrating maturity and the ability to adapt effectively to change and circumstance." Award: Distinction 80%
- Royal Northern College of Music, examiners' remarks, role of Music Education in the community. Awarded 80% (Education Elective). Distinction. 20th May 2005
"lush strings conducted by Iain Masson"
- Mel McClellan, BBC Online, Folk review of I Am Jim Moray EP
"New conductor Iain Masson is creating a stir with Bedworth Symphony Orchestra and its followers. The orchestra gave its first concert under Iain on Saturday...and the musicians were delighted to be led by such a young talent. Oboist Maxine Moody summed it up saying, 'The orchestra is extraordinarily lucky to get this youngster, who is certainly going to be heard a lot of in the future'."
- Coventry Evening Telegraph
"the most dedicated, enthusiastic and stimulating conductor I have ever known, and this was showing results with BSO. Every single one of us became a better musician from the experience we have gained from your conductorship."
Roger Pilkington, Principal Trombone, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"You are one the the most musically talented young people that it has been my privilege to meet and you give, and I have no doubt will continue to give, so much to the community."
Andrew Middup, Principal Clarinet, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"You really lit the park of enthusiasm and for me made Bedworth fun again. It was also great to go to rehearsals with a full brass section which was made to feel welcome and part of the orchestra. You have embraced everything that is important about amature orchestras."
Dave Stretton, Principal Trumpet, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"You're the best music teacher ever. We all wish you could be at our school every day."
Louis, year 6, Stowlawn Primary School
"The Co-Operative Concert Orchestra concert was great and I enjoyed your spell conducting the orchestra. Come back soon!"
David Weir, flute, The Heart of England Co-Operative Concert Orchestra
"I always enjoyed your rehearsals, although challenging, and was encouraged to work hard to improve my own contribution. You had the interests of the orchestra at heart and were keen to see it improve."
Jeff White, French Horn, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"Iain, you have moved the orchestra forward"
Jo Merry, Principal Flute, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"I enjoyed playing under your directorship. I hope that the orchestra continues to improve as much in the future as I believe they have done since you joined."
Paul Morris, 2nd trumpet, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"I must thank you for your period as conductor with us. It has been a very interesting and enjoyable time with a wide variety of new music which has stretched us all, which is what we need occasionally."
Bob Phillip, Chairman, violinist, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"Iain, you have shown such commitment and enthusiasm to everyone here and we have been fortunate to have you as our conductor. I have thoroughly enjoyed your rehearsals and concerts"
Dorothy Wardropper, violinist, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"You've really put life back into the orchestra and turned things around!"
Kirsten Pearce, cellist, Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
"Thank you for your visit to Black Country Brass on Thursday. I found it both very enjoyable and rewarding. I spoke to several other band members after the practice and they all said how much they had enjoyed it as well and were very complimentary about the way you had taken the evening."
David Pitt, chair, Black Country Brass
"New conductor Iain Masson is creating a stir with Bedworth Symphony Orchestra and its followers. The orchestra gave its first concert under Iain on Saturday and the musicians were delighted to be led by such a young talent."
Coventry Evening Telegraph, Classical Music
"No composer as young as [Iain Masson] has the right to call upon such a fantastic aural memory. I am most impressed."
- Birmingham Post Chief music critic, Christopher Morley
"I've listened to some of the excerpts on your website and your music sounds interesting and with a certain charm- if I may say so. I believe you may have a successful career ahead of you."
- Communication from Áskell Masson, Iceland
"a very fine young composer...his compositions are of the highest order. He is very keen to learn new adventures in music"
- Professor John Mayer, composer
"A strong portfolio of music from a composer whose individual voice pervades each piece. Starting-points are clearly "felt" before developing into a well-crafted whole. It's all very inventive".
- Lincoln Abbott, composer
"excellent characterisation combining nursery-rhyme naivety with a firm rhythmic grip" - Peter Lawson on premiere of Suite of Kitchenettes for Solo Piano in the Adrian Boult Hall
"The string quartet writing is really idiomatic, with the first movement giving the leader prominence a la early Haydn (or like a Bellini aria), and the second deliciously rich in its chordal texture."
- Christopher Morley
"Very original and enterprising music. The pieces are full of wit and musical intelligence, as well as showing concern for musical gestures and their effects on audiences. There is consistency in the writing and it is always attractive and approachable as well as having considerable depth."
-Professor Andrew Downes, composer and former Head of Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire (23 May 2000)
"Iain Masson's Open Score work Conflicts of the Ocean was successfully performed and greatly enjoyed by the COMA (Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs) North West Ensemble at the RNCM on 20th March 2005. The score and parts were well presented, submitted punctually, met the requirements laid down and the work was eminently suitable for the purpose."
- Anne Willie, Head Office, COMA North West Ensemble
"Iain is a composer of immense originality - I have yet to be disappointed by a single piece which I have had the pleasure of listening to. It is so refreshing to listen to a contemporary composer who works out of sheer musical intuition."
- Joshua Watters, Oboist, Sir John Barbirolli Recipient 2004
"I dig your stuff...I really enjoyed PLUX I and can see how it would fit in really well with the Stravinsky. Your music is really cool and you obviously have a very broad range."
- Jeff T. Alu, Composer/3D Artist/Animator/Photographer
"I would like to thank you on behalf of me and my friend Joe, my accompanist, for allowing us to perform your piece Whoosh-ka!... everybody who has heard it has absolutely loved it...when we performed it in the cabaret to the rest of our choir they were literally calling encore...but basically thanks very much because I have really enjoyed it, and I know Joe has too."
- Communication from Steven Bache, GCSE student, Birmingham
"Dear Mr. Masson,
We were deeply moved by our family's big surprise present [The Virtues of Time] on our Golden Wedding Anniversary. We are privileged indeed that you have written such a beautiful choral score and the lovely and very appropriate words you chose as well. We were so sorry that you could not be with us at its first performance and for you to see the reaction not only from us but from our friends around us. Meanwhile, our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for your future, Lise and Arthur."
- personal letter re: Golden Wedding Anniversary commission. 24th May 2004.
"The spectacular piece Evolutions written by Musicate composer Iain Masson... 'Evolutions' is Musicate's largest commission to date and features over 130 breath taking young performers.
- Borough of Telford and Wrekin press release following first rehearsal of Iain's educational work Evolutions, a 40-minute educational commission incorporating tuned percussion, children learning wind, brass and string, instruments African drumming and song, gospel singing, Latin American percussion and school choirs into one work (Telford music enhancement project)
"First, I just wanted to say what a fantastic experience the Evolutions concert was. I was so proud of the children and I know the parents were bowled over by the evening. You must all have been thrilled by its success. I thought the International Centre performance was great, but this was something else. Dan [Rosina] and Iain were fantastic and everyone that worked with the kids was just so lovely and patient."
- Letter to Musicate charting success of Iain's educational commission Evolutions in spring 2006 which was performed before the Lord and Lady Mayor of Telford.
"Iain from Musicate has just left us after his first visit. I am very impressed with the quality of his work already and I know the children have responded well. Thanks for linking him with St. Mary's Primary."
- Communication from headteacher to head of Telford Culture Zone
"In the chaos of Friday I didn't really say a proper "thank you" for the work you did with the children for the performance. It was amazing! All of the visitors were knocked out with the work they did - and for you to have pulled it together in just 3 afternoons was excellent. It was really lovely to see both schools (Green Park Special School and Stowlawn Primary School) working together and to see them enjoying it so much - it just totally characterised what the whole project has been about - inclusivity. It would be lovely to perform it again for the children and staff of both schools. Once again - many many thanks for making it such a special day - the visitors were "buzzing" as they went out. Many thanks,"
- Sue Vaughan, Headteacher, Stowlawn Primary School, Wolverhampton