Director of Music Pete Williams bring you a rundown of all things department related throughout what has been an extremely busy half term:
It’s been an incredibly busy time this half term in the music department. One of the major thrusts at the senior music department concerns our working toward the production of ‘Annie’.
Mr Davies and I have been rehearsing with cast members on Monday and Wednesday evenings and pupils have also attended ‘drop in’ rehearsal clinics which I have been holding at Thursday lunchtimes.
All pupils are working superbly, with the cast mixing their singing and dancing with increased confidence and assurance
At the prep school, Mr Davies has been working with Mrs Culver on adapting songs to put into the upcoming Year 4 play. Mr Davies speaks highly of the progress made.
Exciting class projects continue to happen! Pre –prep pupils continue to learn to sing new songs as well as exploring the effectiveness of music in helping to establish the mood in film music.
Prep pupils are working on a mixture of projects ranging from creating ‘haunted house’ music to learning about the elements intrinsic to rock music. All of this occurs alongside preparation for the prep spring concert and Easter service.
Year 7 pupils are working on creating Chinese music, Year 8 are creating African music arrangements and Year 9 are creating their own minimalist backing tracks to accompany a rap.
Other pupils within Years 8 and 9 are working on pre-GCSE work including the basics of score reading, learning to play ‘All Blues’ by Miles Davies and starting to study current GCSE set works such as Purcell’s ‘Music for a while’.
Our Year 10 GCSE pupils produced some excellent ‘Killer Queen’ pastiche compositions this week showing excellent understanding of chord and non-chord notes usage. Year 11 continue to develop their compositions and work through GCSE past papers.
Year 12 and 13 pupils are working through set works, and the in the case of Year 13, set work essay questions, composition, technical studies and listening exercises.
Our senior school choir has continued to meet every Tuesday lunchtime and has already taken part in a pop gospel, during which they sang ‘500 miles’. This was enormous fun, as the whole school responded to the call and response during the chorus.
Next Wednesday, the choir will sing in another pop gospel, performing ‘Livin on a prayer ‘ by Bon Jovi.
Our school orchestra has been learning to play an abridged version of ‘Mars’ from Holst’s ‘The Planets’ and the jazz band have been getting to grips with the score from ‘Annie’.
The boarding house are preparing form next week’s ‘Interhouse music competition’. All houses are working on an exciting mixture of whole house songs and smaller ensemble performances. It promises to be another fun filled occasion full of powerful singing and superb entertainment!
We have also had some wonderful visiting Chinese students attending the ‘Musical theatre’ sessions that have been run by Mrs Earle and myself. At the time of writing we are about to continue working with our third group, preparing a performance of ‘Songs from Persephone’. In all cases, our guests have worked so hard in learning to sing and mime the ‘mini musical’ (which contains six songs) in under five hours. Very impressive stuff!
Every Thursday evening, our community choir continues to meet. We have been welcoming some new members and have set new attendance records! Our repertoire continues to expand, featuring some ‘Songs from Persephone’, an African song, a pop song and a bossa nova classic.
If you are interested in joining this choir, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or simply turn up on a Thursday evening, 7pm at the music school on Combermere road; you would be most welcome.
Last Saturday, three of our pupils took part in the district final of the Rotary young musician competition at Poulton Hall in Bebington. Against an incredibly high standard of competitors, Linda Wang came third in the instrumental category, Amy Yue came joint third in the vocal category and Tegid Goodman – Jones came second in the vocalists’ category.
All pupils were highly praised for their standards of musicianship and quality of communication. Tegid will go through to the regional final which takes in Liverpool on April 8.
Finally, some of our talented pupils took part in the Young Performers’ concert, which took place at St John’s Church.
The programme included brilliant performances from all or our pupils, ranging from impeccably delivered pop and R ‘n’ B to sensitively performed western and eastern classical music. It was a wonderful occasion and I certainly went home feeling really proud to work with such professional sounding pupils.