Page 36 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 36

 Music, Drama, & Dance
  In the swim
Felsted Prep School, Essex, was transported under the sea as Years 5 and 6 performed ‘The Little Mermaid’ to the Felsted community.
The large 90-pupil cast showed great energy and spirit as they sang, danced and acted their way through the visual and musical extravaganza, supported by musicians from the school orchestra and costumes and props made by the Art Department.
Rossall School, Lancashire, has opened a new Performing Arts Centre this month (September).
The opportunity arose due to a very generous donation from former student (Old Rossallian), David McKee. David is the founder and former owner of the McKee Gallery in New York City and is an avid supporter of the arts. Over several visits David has had a great deal
of input into the development of this project, including finding the perfect location.
The Performing Arts Centre creates a multifunctional rehearsal and performance space for the arts, with ‘black box’ facility, professional theatre lighting, flexible staging and space for dance.
This new state-of-the-art facility will increase Rossall School’s arts potential greatly - carefully woven into the original fabric of the building, the aim is to create a versatile, striking and unique venue, for teaching and performances.
Once was a first
Ely Cathedral Boys’ Choir has recently returned from an action- packed music tour of Estonia.
Seventeen of the choristers, who are all pupils at King’s Ely, took part
in this year’s tour and to say their schedule was a busy one would be a slight understatement. The boys had five performances in venues across a number of cities, including Tallinn, Haapsalu and Parnu. The tour culminated in a spine-tingling concert at St Peter and St Paul’s Cathedral in Tallinn.
For many of the choristers, who are all aged 9-13, it was their first tour and despite the gruelling timetable of rehearsals and performances,
they still managed to squeeze in plenty of sightseeing and downtime, including visits to a water park,
the beach, local parks and the Seaplane Harbour Estonian Maritime Museum.
It was the choir’s first ever visit to Estonia; previous choir tours have included America, Canada,
Spain, Norway and France, as well as special performances in Rome, Vienna and Budapest.
Director of Music at Ely Cathedral, Paul Trepte, who led the tour,
said: “Tours of this sort are the stuff that memories are made of. The choir had a fabulous week singing in some impressive venues to appreciative audiences in Tallinn (three concerts), Haapsalu and Parnu. The musical highlight was their final concert at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Tallinn, attended by the Deputy British Ambassador. A fault on the organ in that church required some last minute changes to the programme which in turn demanded great flexibility and professionalism from all singers.”
Ely Cathedral Boys’ Choir has been part of the English Choral tradition since the mid-16th century and
in terms of monastic heritage,
its history can be traced back considerably further to before the time of King Canute, circa 990 AD.
Pupils from Dauntsey’s School, Wiltshire, brought the last academic year to a close with a much acclaimed performance of the Irish musical drama ‘Once’. Based on Director John Carney’s 2007 Oscar winning movie of the same name, the School’s staging of Once was enjoyed by audiences over four performances.
A company of 15 actor-musicians playing guitars, pianos, cellos, violins, cajons and a mandolin,
performed all roles and served as the on-stage orchestra in what was a challenging but ultimately hugely enjoyable experience for all those involved.
Rikki Jackson, Director of Drama, Dauntsey’s said; “The School was honoured to be the first amateurs to perform this wonderful show which left the audience both moved and uplifted by the story of Guy and Girl and the celebration of life and love.”
Wizard of Oz
Westholme School, Lancashire, students were transformed into the characters of this well-known story in a production of the Wizard of Oz.
Classic musical pieces including ‘Over the Rainbow’ accompanied the journey down the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City.
New centre opened
  Choristers in Estonia
  36 Independent Schools Magazine
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