Autumn Term 2011 Music Department News – 5
The Music Department, in its extra-curricular activities, has been the busiest I have ever known it. With 4 part-time members of staff (and one being a maternity cover) we travelled, performed, showcased, learned, experimented, re-organised, inaugurated, discovered, mentored, rose to the challenges, competed, taught, entertained, paraded, inspired and even brought pleasure, across the country – from Birmingham, to London to the Isle of Wight and with a lot of laughter along the way.
16 students are going out fortnightly as part of an Outreach programme from the Music Department into Primary Schools. These people have been involved so far and we have visited St Peter’s, Canterbury, Herne Infant School, Herne Bay Junior School and St Thomas Catholic Primary School. Primary Schools have asked us either to bring in our Samba Band or to bring in a selection of music performances, by soloists or small groups which gives the Primary school children a brief introduction to many different styles of music and different instruments.
Sam Flood Barbershop & Piano
Dan Sherington Barbershop & Drums
George Needham Barbershop & Bass & Violin
Ollie Braddy Barbershop / Viola
Sam Dale Clarinet / Samba / Recorder
Dan Appiah Saxophone / Samba
Rhys Maidment Drums / Samba
Flynn Sturgeon Piano / Samba / Accordion
Fraser Coupe Trombone
Harry Nicholson Guitar & voice
James Whitaker Violin
Fergus Carver Piano
Seth Gauton Voice
Ryan Taber Voice
Fred Ingoldby Piano
Jacob Turner-Dore Drums & Classical Guitar / Samba
George Challis Voice & Guitar
Matt Lee Piano
James McConkey Barbershop
David Rajan Violin
Matthew Clayton Samba / Piano
Adeel Jafree Samba
Alan Jose Samba
Michael Kelly Samba
Jeremy Skinner Samba
Luke Whitehead Samba
Joseph Lester Samba
James Mortley Samba
Christian Small Samba / Violin
Louis Dale guitar
Biff Sharrock Cello
Issy Andrews Violin
Tom Beach Jazz Clarinet
The Record Label have been working on Song-writing as part of an on-going project to produce an album of original songs.
Along with that, Mr Pollott has enjoyed investing his YouTube competition prize money on 7 new IPad2s for the department and more and more boys are using them not only in lessons, but more importantly in their own time to experiment with Garage Band generally, recording and creating their own tracks.
8 Students (Tom McCagherty, Joe Foster, Peter Winstanley, Matt Guarino, Dom Coulon, George Hales, Alex Ryan, Harry Prosser) undertook a Music Technology Course in “Logic” software on Monday evenings for 10 weeks at Canterbury College. The outcome will be an album of tracks in various genres to demonstrate the versatility of the software. Some are now hoping to go on to a recording course being run by the college also. We must thank Kim for being able to attend with them so that the under 16’s could attend. A Recording Course commences this term.
Music trips last term included a Gershwin Concert at Cadogan Hall, a “Best of Broadway” trip to the RAH and an English music concert at the RAH.
The new Canterbury Youth Music was set up on Friday 4th November, running at the Girl’s School, for musicians from any schools in the area. Students can join in a String Orchestra, Wind Band, Big Band and Orchestra all starting at 4.00pm. All groups performed both at the Girl’s School Concert and our end of term Seasonal Concert in December. This term sees the introduction of a new Band for pupils in year 6 upwards.
Langton Brass is a mostly adult Brass Band that Mr Cutting (one of Brass peripatetic teachers) set up at the beginning of term. They rehearse on a Monday night in the music department. Parents, local teachers and players and some Langton pupils are playing to a very high level and the band accompanied us at the school Carol Service in the Cathedral for the second year in December.
Canterbury Festival Lunchtime Concert was held on Tuesday 18th October where all the A level students had to present a solo performance. We heard some beautiful guitar playing by Sydney Henderson and we were all stunned by George Ogilvie’s voice. Several people performed twice, either presenting a solo and contributing to a group or performing in 2 group items. The Barbershop are gaining more confidence and the String Orchestra sounded lovely.
The School Concert was held on Wednesday 19th October and showcased most of the organised music groups that the music department run (Senior Strings, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Full Choir, Male Voice Choir, Barbershop, Junior Singers, Concert Band, Russian Choir, Junior Wind Band, Samba Band, Guitar Ensemble, Junior String)
as well as Maxim’s solo and the Dixieland Band. What was even more impressive was the number of boys that rallied to Johnny Allain-Labon’s call to home-make cakes and sell them. There was a splendid array of delicious cakes to try.
George Challiss and Harry Nicholson (year 13 & year 7) performed in Canterbury City Centre as part of the Canterbury Festival Opening events on Saturday 15th October to a large appreciative crowd .
The Equator Music Competition was held at Norton Knatchbull School on Friday 21st October. The Dixieland Band came joint 1st and Ben Rogers and Louis Sharrock got particular praise. Sam Flood, George Needham and Dan Sherington performed as a Jazz trio and George Challiss and Alex Tonsbeek performed also.
Several of our students were involved in a workshop with members of the English Chamber Orchestra at St Edmund’s School on Friday 14th: George Needham, Ian Cornish, Sima Jovanovic, Flynn Sturgeon, Charlie Flynn.
Various music groups participated in a charity event at Elham Vineyards on 5th November. These groups represented the student initiatives and collaborations that the department supports and that Kim cajoles. Many students get together in small groups to sing and play in a variety of genres and organise and rehearse themselves. George Challis sang, Seth Gauton and Ryan Taber sang accompanied by Fergus Carver on piano. Luke Shipton played some solo pianos. Ryan Taber did a guitar solo.
One of the school’s oboeists: Oscar Scollery attended a Masterclass at King’s School on November 8th.
These students play in the St Edmund’s School Senior Orchestra and were involved in their school concert on November 10th: George Needham, Sima Jovanovic, Flynn Sturgeon, Charlie Flynn, Ollie Braddy, Henry Baxter
The 6 A level students attended a seminar given by the LSO focussing on 2 set works which we heard performed live and came away very much refreshed having heard such marvellous playing.
The Intermediate Piano Competition was held on 23rd / 24th November. After Mrs Braddy had heard 11 brave boys playing a grade 4 or 5 standard piece, with the help of George Needham, 4 were chosen to play in a special Key Stage 3 assembly, where it was announced that Matthew Clayton, because if his expressive style of playing, was chosen as the winner.
George Challiss and Alex Tonsbeek were selected from a nationwide search to perform at the SSAT teacher’s Conference in Birmingham on 2nd December. Thank you Mr Pollott for accompanying them.
The Chamber Choir undertook their third music tour of the Isle of Wight in December.
Maxim Sealey, Joseph Morris, Fergus Carver, Barney Gore, Johnny Allain-Labon, Roman Richards, Adeel Jafree, Malcolm Kittle, Flynn Sturgeon, Ollie Braddy, Eliot Watkins, Kieran Gilmore, Biff Sharrock, Robert Aylward-Lopez, Samuel Kittle, Louis Wilson, George Needham, Charlie Flynn, George Challiss, Issy Andrews accompanied by Mrs Braddy, Mrs Kim, Miss Fraser and Noah Baker (ex pupil). Thank you to Mrs Temel for rehearsing the choir during the term and arranging some lovely venues for us to sing in.
While we were away, and as soon as Mr Pollott returned from Birmingham, he accompanied the Samba / Parade Band who played, as usual, in the St Nicholas Parade through the City on Saturday 3rd December.
The Seasonal Concert on Thursday 8th December had its usual mixture of organised groups such as the Junior Strings and Junior Wind Band, which joined forces for a rendition of ”Merry Xmas Everybody”, also the Guitar Ensemble, Junior Singers, Male Voice Choir and Concert Band. There were many student groups, the Russian Choir, the Year 11 Trio, the Dixieland Quartet, The Beards (a folk group), a VIth form group made up of the formidable Sharrock brothers and Kieran Gilmore and the Barbershop, who did a surprise Finale – a spoof on the “12 Days of Christmas”.
On Friday 9th December a number of A level students went to the beautiful stately home “Finchcocks” where there is a liarge collection of keyboard instruments. We heard a demonstration on some of the splendid instruments and students were then allowed to play them also to get a feel of how their set works would have sounded and felt like to play at the time of composition.
The Carol Service in the Cathedral on Thursday 15th December was a splendid affair, with the school choir surpassing themselves with a performance of a Christmas Motet by Poulenc. The Chamber Choir prepared the “Ubi Caritas” made famous by being performed at the Royal Wedding and the Male Voices rose to the occasion performing Tavener in that awe inspiring space.
Finally on the last day of term, Francis Gush came back (currently studying music at Oxford University) with “Out of the Blue” the all male singing and dancing troupe and rushed through a workshop with 30 boys and performed in final assembly and then gave a brilliant concert in the evening. A truelly talented group of individual talent and a privilege to have heard them on home territory.
Just before Christmas, Kim arranged for the DixieBand to play in a pub in Whitstable with an old-time jazz band and they went down a storm. Playing their own set and then playing with the older jazzers to great praise indeed from the local Jazz conoisseurs!!
Spring Term 2012 Music Department News - 1
We did our first concert on the first day back of term! The Chamber Choir gave a "12th night" concert at St Mary's Church, Chartham on Thursday 5th January at 7.00 which was a repeat performance of the concert they gave 3 times on the Isle of Wight back at the beginning of December. The amazing boys (and girl!) involved were.
Maxim Sealey,Joseph Morris, Barney Gore, Johnny Allain-Labon, Adeel Jafree, Roman Richards,
Malcolm Kittle, Flynn Sturgeon, Fergus Carver, Louis Dale, Ollie Braddy, Eliot Watkins, Kieran Gilmore,
Biff Sharrock, Samuel Kittle, Louis Wilson, George Needham, Dave Hewett, Charlie Flynn, George Challiss and Issy Andrews. To have produced such a polished performance after 3 weeks was incredible and the audience very much appreciated it.
The Senior Piano Competition took place on the 4th day back after the Christmas break – Tuesday 10th January. 9 brave higher level pianists dared perform in front of each other and other students and parents, in the first event of its kind. While the audience enjoyed tea and cake, the pianists heard each other, some for the first time, formally perform to each other. Those taking part were: Charutha Senaratne 8S, George Needham 11M, Brian Wong 12CB, Biff Sharrock 13BP, Kieran Gilmore 12JE, Louis Wilson 12JE, Louis Sharrock 12SE, Eliot Watkins 11H1, Malcolm Kittle 12JE. The adjudicator, Jean Phillips deemed that 4 should share the top mark; George Needham, Biff Sharrock, Louis Sharrock and Eliot Watkins. I am very grateful to all of them for creating such a pleasant tea-time concert and entering the competition in such good will.
Less than 2 weeks into term some of the Male Voice Choir turned out at the Cathedral to support Stowting Primary School with their annual choral concert in the Cathedral. (17th January). This year we had moved out of the crypt and sang on the High Altar steps in the choir.
The boys presented themselves well and provided tenor and bass to the large choirs of young voices from Stowting Primary, Hollingbourne Primary and The New Beacon School. They learnt in 1 day a new 3 part piece which they performed magnificently giving the young voices something to aspire to. Thank you to:
Louis Wilson, Sam Kittle, Malcolm Kittle, Dave Hewett, Robert Collopy, Theo Fagan, Bobby Andrews, Tom Lawrence, Biff Sharrock, Louis Sharrock, Ben Rogers, Kieran Gilmore, Joseph Ibrahim
At the end of the second full week back after the Christmas break we had the long awaited Jazz Gig on Friday 20th January. Held in the Drama Studio, the techies helped create a most perfect venue. Round tables made by Jali, in candlelight, over 100 people all paying £5 (going to the MS Therapy Centre next door to school) enjoyed an evening of jazz with so many highlights to mention. Kim had managed to get a Peripatetic band together involving Mr Tagford (drums), Mr White (piano), Mr Chenouer (flute), Mr Smith (saxophone), Mr Reeves (guitar) and Mr Langlois (vocals) who performed a couple of items with her partner Steve Waterman (Jazz trumpet) and a Jazz bass player. It was an absolute joy to see these professionals come out of their tiny teaching rooms and light up a room with their improvisations and consummate professionalism in getting some songs together in no time at all. Of the pupils we had a Sax quintet, Biff playing Gershwin on Piano, the Barbershop being backing singers for Kim, Mr Pollott accompanying the amazing (and up until last October - hidden) talent that is George Ogilvie, and Tim Beach on clarinet, Max Bent accompanying Louella Ward, Fergus Carver accompanying Seth Gauton and Ryan Taber separately, Flynn Sturgeon, playing with Dan Appiah, Sam Dale and Rhys Maidment. Kim’s trio (George Needham, Sam Flood and Dan Sherington) playing with Tom Lawrence, Spencer Henderson playing blues guitar with Charlie Flynn on bass. Jacob Turner-Dore and Freddie Ingoldby playing a guitar duet. Dixie-Band ended the evening in style as ever.
After just 35 hours rehearsal time, the new venture, a Joint Junior Production, this time of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was launched and a full-scale production put on. We had a first call a few days before the end of the Autumn term to gauge the level of interest and encouraged by the turnout of both boys and girls from SLGS we went full steam ahead. The Band rehearsed on Mondays, the Key Stage 3 pupils on Tuesday and Thursday and somehow the soloists learnt their parts by osmosis! It was a mad dash as usual – but at least the deadline was forever in everyone’s thoughts that way! The Key Stage 3 pupils had a ball on and off the stage, and really pulled it together when it mattered and became more than just a bit of fun. They came into school on 3 occasions above the call of duty (on 2 Sundays and on the Staff Training day) and many parents came and helped sew and stitch props and costumes in the background. Finally, with the scaffolding up and dressed and the costumes and props pulled together, the extra lights and smoke machines in place, the orchestra added, the students braved doing their first performance to the most difficult of audiences (their peers) and from there it just got better and better as these young and relatively inexperienced actors and actresses gained in confidence. We put on a performance on Wednesday 29th February that the audience could sing along to which meant the two real performances on 1st & 2nd March were even stronger. Sadly, because of the way the rota will work out, for the year 7’s involved the next joint production they will be involved in here will be when they are in year 13!! I hope they involve themselves more and continue to grab at as many opportunities that present themselves as possible. It was worth it!