Page 24 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 24

                                                                                                                                       Talent follows Dominic’s dramatic lead
Staff musicians learn new instruments in eight weeks
  The curtain is rising on a whole new generation of theatrical talent at Shef eld’s Westbourne School.
One of the school’s most famous former pupils is Dominic West, star of hit TV cop show ‘The Wire’ and Oscar winning movie musical favourite ‘Chicago’.
And now there’s a new wealth of acting talent waiting in the wings after the school put in a starring performance with their London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) exams.
The children’s talents were tested in diverse ways, including a two actor script, group acting and musical theatre. And every entrant passed the tough challenge with
 ying colours, with distinctions for several pupils.
“We have always taken great
pride in encouraging our pupil’s creativity,” said Drama teacher Sallianne Foster-Major. “Both through our annual staged performances at Shef eld’s Montgomery Theatre and in classes in our own drama studio, we are preparing all our children to use drama as a way of expressing themselves. We are sure that Dominic - who remains a keen supporter of Westbourne activities - will be delighted to see that so many young people are  nding him an inspiration and are wanting to follow in his footsteps.
Five St Mary’s School, Cambridgeshire, staff members participated in the Oxford and Cambridge Note Race 2017 over the summer break, taking up
the challenge to learn a new instrument from scratch in just two months with only one formal group lesson, to raise funds
for local charities Home-Start Cambridgeshire, the Alf Dubs Children’s Fund, and Blue Smile.
Junior School Music Co-ordinator Miss Elise Hickey and Year 5 teacher Miss Agata Wygnanska joined Senior School Assistant Head and teacher of Music Mrs Sonia Gears, visiting  ute and clarinet teacher Mrs Anne Bury, and singing teacher Mrs Alison Daniels in taking on the challenge. Between them they learnt the  ute, trumpet, bassoon, cornet and harp respectively, and raised a combined total of £1,690.
The two months’ practice culminated last month (September 2017) when all challenge participants took the Grade 1 examination in their chosen instrument (all of the St Mary’s School, Cambridge participants passed) before performing in
the Grade-1-athon concert. For Cambridge-based participants the concert was held at West Road Concert Hall for members of the local community; at the same time Oxford-based participants performed in their own concert in Oxford.
The age-old rivalry between the two cities continues, and on this occasion the Cambridge team was crowned the winner having achieved not only the highest average mark in the Grade 1 examinations but also raising the most money.
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     24 Music, Drama & Dance independent schools mag Ad 90x135mm MAY11.indd 1
6/5/11 13:08:41
Pictured (l to r): Miss Hickey, Mrs Bury, Mrs Daniels, Miss Wygnanska and Mrs Gears
Pupils’ voices well and truly heard
Three hundred children were able to sing to their heart’s content at King’s Ely’s annual Choral Day.
The musical extravaganza celebrated its 10th anniversary this year
with pupils from around a dozen different local preparatory and primary schools coming together to sing at King’s Ely and Ely Cathedral.
A record-breaking number of pupils attended the action-packed event on September 19th, which was led by renowned conductor, Dominic
Peckham. The programme included warm ups and rehearsals in King’s Ely’s Hayward Theatre, a workshop for teachers in the school’s Recital Hall, tours of Ely Cathedral, rehearsals in the cathedral Nave and a performance by the Ely Cathedral Girl Choristers.
The highlight of the day was when all pupils came together in the cathedral to perform to their parents, families, teachers and friends.

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