Page 32 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Shakespearean ‘Dream’ brought to life
songs that she added to the production.
Blending together the Elizabethan English with more contemporary dialogue, Gemma incorporated some of Shakespeare’s original lines to give children a  avour of his style. For Oberon and Titania, Gemma kept the formality, pentameter and language; while for the lovers and the Mechanicals, she used a more modern, colloquial translation.
Gemma, who sang in various bands before she became a teacher, said: “Writing the songs was a labour of love for me. I start song-writing by working out lyrics that emphasise
a development in the plot or a relationship, and then I twiddle around on the piano until I  nd the right mood or melody.”
To help students learn lyrics without cumbersome sheet music, Gemma then recorded herself with Jade Jago, a Year 3 teacher.
A cast of literary characters left audiences asking for more as young actors performed their hilarious re-telling of a Dickens classic.
Children at Barnard Castle Preparatory School, Durham, staged a two-night run and a matinee performance of Olivia!,
a heart-warming and funny tale which gave them a chance to show their acting, comic and vocal talents.
The whole of Years 3 and 4 took part in the musical.
Malcolm Sircom’s script was directed and produced by Year 4 teacher Alex White with musical accompaniment by Dr Robin Harrison, lighting by Year 4
A teacher from Lewes Old Grammar School (LOGS), Sussex, has breathed new life into one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.
Juniors from Morley House performed a special version of
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which was adapted and abridged by LOGS English teacher, Gemma Rham, who writes novels and songs in her free time.
In the spirit of the comedy’s subject matter, Gemma transformed the play into a musical and wrote ten original
Hairspray sell-out
Over 75 students from Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire, took
part in a sell-out production
of the outrageous 60’s musical “Hairspray”, leaving audiences, young and old, buzzing with excitement and appreciation.
Under the musical direction
of James McKelvey and Fiona McCanliss, the band tackled
a dif cult score with true professionalism in every aspect. Lucy McKee, as Director, brought together her 45-strong cast with con dence and style, to generate a true sense of ensemble on stage. Clare Lidbury turned what is essentially a non-stop dance show
into a highly disciplined sequence of dazzling synchronised, sinuous movement. Coupled with the work of a highly trained student crew running all technical aspects of the production, this was a perfect example of how live performance really can bring together the many diverse talents of Bromsgrove’s students into a remarkable, cohesive whole.
Mr Tim Norton, Director of Performing Arts said “This was an incredibly strong ensemble piece, with stand-out performances that proved there are some extraordinary singers and actors at the School.”
teacher Ben Wicling and additional support in make-up, props and the programme by Tabitha Michelin, Jennifer Strachan, Claire Bale, Anne Lee and Arabella Michelin.
Prep School Headmistress Laura Turner said: “I was completely blown away by the performance. All our Year 3 and 4 children were absolute stars and put on a truly amazing show. I, like most of the audience, left beaming from ear to ear.
“A show like this is a team effort and, as well as congratulating
Miss White and her production team, we must also say a big thank you to the parents for providing the children with their superb costumes.”
Voces8 sings with choirs
The widely acclaimed professional a cappella group, Voces8, visited St Benedict’s School, London,
to work with the school’s choirs, Ealing Abbey choristers and pupils of all ages. Children from local primary schools also attended the singing day, which culminated in a wonderful concert to showcase what had been learned.
Prayer by the contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, with the Ealing Abbey choristers singing his setting of Ubi Caritas and Parson’s Ave Maria.
Voces8 sang a wide range of music, including Duke Ellington’s ‘It don’t mean a thing’ and Nat ‘King’ Cole’s ‘Straighten up and  y right’. Their repertoire is huge, and even included Abba’s Dancing Queen as an encore!
St Benedict’s Headmaster Andrew Johnson said: “It was a great privilege to have Voces8 with us. Their perfectly blended voices, expressive and committed singing, as well as a sense of fun, was hugely inspiring for everyone.”
Voces8 began the concert with
music by Byrd and Rachmaninov
before the youngest singers took
to the stage to perform American
and British folk songs, dazzling the
audience with their enthusiastic
singing in two and three parts. The
St Benedict’s Consort Choir then
joined Voces8 to sing Stanford’s
Beati quorum via and Evening
Pictured: Voces8 soprano Andrea Haines with young singers
32 Music, Dance & Drama

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