Musical Notes…

Posted: 8th July 2016

Summer Term Melodies…

Dr Higgins reports on the musical events of the school over the past few weeks…

‘It has been busy in the Music Department over the last two weeks. Exams and music-making of all kinds have been taking place, with girls from almost every year group in the school taking part in one event or another.

It all kicked off with the ABRSM exams on Monday 27th June. Twenty-five girls from Lower I to Upper VI were examined on instruments ranging from flute, piano and violin to voice, oboe and alto sax. Each grade is allotted a certain number of many minutes in the exam, ranging from 12 minutes for grade 1 to 30 minutes for grade 8! These exams can naturally be somewhat daunting, but the girls rose to the challenge. Accompanying the musical exams, as I did for a number of students, can be very interesting as you get to see the work students have been doing outside the classroom. I never fail to be amazed by what young students can do on top of all their academic studies and involvement in other activities outside the classroom. Accompanying can also be great fun, as one gets to discover new and interesting pieces. Monday’s offering was most varied and a particular favourite of mine was ‘The Owls’ –  a characterful piece by Peter Jenkyns and sung by Lilian Rodney in Upper II.

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Tuesday 28th June saw many of the girls perform in various ensembles at the annual Arts Evening.  It rained, but the girls played on. So much was on offer. We had the Senior Orchestra playing outside in the marquee, the harps playing at one end of the cloister and the Senior Strings playing at the other. In between we had flute duets and cellos too.

But the week was not over, as two days later the Summer Concert took place in the Chapel. The Senior Orchestra took us to 1950s New York with their performance of hits from West Side Story. From the other end of music history, the Junior Orchestra transported us to the Renaissance with two dances from the famous Danserye by Tielman Susato. There were madrigals on offer by the Senior Chapel Choir, as well as a rendition of YMCA, and Taiko Drumming by the Junior Percussion Ensemble. And who could forget the world premiere of Mr Bale’s very own composition, Pizzicato and Waltz for Strings – a brilliant piece. If you missed the concert, you really missed a treat. You can get in on the action next time though, at our St Cecilia Concert on 25th November.’

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We look forward to all the wonderful musical events of the Michaelmas Term, which will include, not only the St Cecilia Concert, but also our annual Carol Service in December.

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