Vocal Workshop In September sixty pupils from the first year began school one day early by taking part in the Music Department’s vocal workshop. It was a good opportunity for the pupils to make new friends and enjoy a fun morning of vocal singing. At the end of the workshop the First Year Victoria Colton Scholarship auditions were held and Jordan Sheath was awarded this title.
Speech Day It was the turn of the trumpet ensemble to begin proceedings at this year’s speech day held at the Mayflower Theatre. The eight senior pupils performed a fitting march by C.P.E Bach.
Miriam Graham Memorial Concert On 20th September pupils, staff and friends gathered together in the Dobson Theatre for an evening of words and music in memory of Miriam Graham, who was a flute teacher at KES for eight years. Miriam will be remembered as a dedicated, inspirational teacher with boundless enthusiasm and a real passion for music. She founded the school Flute Choir.
During the evening there were music performances from her many friends and pupils, including OEs, and the evening concluded with an uplifting finale for all thirty-three flautists present, which was led by international flautist Atarah ben Tovim. A retiring collection was made for the Macmillan Nurses and Miriam’s husband, David Graham, who very kindly presented the school with a Flute Award in Miriam’s memory.
Old Edwardians Tuba player Sash Koushk-Jalali, now in his third year at the Royal Academy of Music, has been offered a trial place at the Royal National Scottish Orchestra in addition to playing engagements with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester.
Violinist Avril Freemantle, in her first year at the Royal Northern College of Music, has recently performed the solo in Vivaldi's Summer at the Royal Albert Hall in the Schools’ Prom.
Andrew Tyrell, who has just completed a gap year, had been offered a Sound Engineering Scholarship at Exeter University.
Concert at the Anvil The AS Music Technology class went to the Anvil, Basingstoke to see this unique performance of live improvised composition and performance. The Heritage Orchestra’s textures, provided by music appearing live on LCD screens, blended with The Bays contemporary electronic-rock hybrid as the music developed spontaneously around the audience. It was a challenging concept, and one the AS group felt ultimately failed, but none the less it was incredibly insightful to see contemporary composition stretching the boundaries in live performance and provided the class with plenty of food for thought.
South Pacific A large cast worked throughout the autumn term to present this ever popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical on 3rd, 4th and 5th December in the School Hall. The students brought great energy and enthusiasm to rehearsals and the end product was a real highlight of the term. There were outstanding performances from lead singers Rob Livingstone, Katherine Daud, Rory Hudson and Ellie Steel and this was completed by sparkling song and dance numbers from the large chorus. The Marines’ Nothin’ like a Dame and Nurses Gonna Wash that Man Right out of My Hair set feet tapping in the audience. The singers were supported by a stage band which included some of the school’s advanced musicians. The whole show was a real team effort and the Music Department was very pleased to be able to collaborate with the Drama, Art and Dance departments on such a large scale venture.
Christmas 2008 Christmas 2008 began as usual with the annual Christmas Concert for the Wessex Cancer Trust in Romsey Abbey. The Concert Band led the capacity audience in various carols helping to raise £3000 for this vital local charity. The School Carol Service took place in St Mary’s Church on December 15th. The music was led by the School Choir, the Concert Band and the Parents’ Choir. There was a wide variety of carols and readings and one carol was sung in Polish. There were some notable solos from Johnny Smith, Robert Livingstone, Chris Morgan and Pollyanna Wigley. The large congregation contributed £800 to Naomi House Charity. King Edward VI pupils have also been out and about in the local community. Robert Livingstone sang in the Southampton Philharmonic Choir Christmas Concert at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton University. His four items with the choir as baritone soloist were much appreciated by the capacity audience.
On Friday December 19th soloists Natalie Fairhurst and Reem Katifi sang a setting by John Rutter at a wedding in St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. Their singing was simply beautiful and was much appreciated by the bride and groom and their families and friends.
The School Choir ended the term with three carol singing events, and though these were smaller occasions the singing was much appreciated by all concerned. On Thursday18th December the choir sang at St Edmund’s Roman Catholic Church in a carol service organised by the Rotary Club in aid of the Rose Road Association. On Friday 19th December the choir sang in two nursing homes – Durban House, Romsey and Oaklands, West End, Southampton. The final event found choir members singing on board the Fred Olsen Lines cruise ship Black Watch in Southampton docks.
Personal Achievements Congratulations to Tom Sharp who has been offered a Choral Scholarship to St Catherine’s college, Cambridge. Also to Natalie Fairhurst and Reem Katifi, who have won places in the National Youth Junior Choir and First year Zoe Carter-Tai who has a place in the National Children’s Orchestra.
Space for Peace On 26th January the 35 members of the Chamber Choir took part in Prof June Boyce Tillman’s piece ‘Space for Peace’ at Winchester Cathedral. Its aim was to explore a new way of music, prayer and meditation in a musical vigil for peace using choirs from schools, the university and the local community. The cathedral was used as a resonant meditative space and the various groups were positioned round the cathedral in various chapels and transepts. The congregation was able to move around the building praying, lighting candles and singing with the choirs as they wished.The Chamber choir thoroughly enjoyed singing in such a fine acoustic and being part of the experimental soundscape, which at times was truly remarkable. It was an uplifting ad inspiring event for all.
Choral Workshop at Merton College On 4th February two members of the Lower Sixth took part in an exciting choral workshop for potential choral scholars at Merton, Oxford. The day included a singing lesson and rehearsal with the chapel choir in preparation for singing in the candlelit evensong at the end of the day. Evensong was directed by Peter Phillips of the Tallis Scholars. It was good to catch up with former KES student Esther Drabkin-Reiter who is a current choral scholar and in her first year reading Law. The group also took the opportunity to pop down to St John’s College to have a guided tour with another former KES student Richard Moore, who is his first year reading Music. Richard is also organ scholar and the pupils enjoyed listening to a fine performance on the newly installed chapel organ.
The Mayflower Theatre Trips It is over 50 years now since the West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein was first produced on Broadway. A 50th anniversary production is currently touring the world to a sell-out success. A small group of our students caught up with it in London’s Sadler Wells Theatre in the summer of 2008, and in February 2009 a larger group enjoyed the opportunity to see it in the Mayflower Theatre. This was a powerful production returning to the production values of the original 1957 show, with strong performances from the leading singers and actors. Iconic photographs of 1950s New York, which were used as backdrops to many of the scenes, added to the great success and atmosphere of the performance.
Two weeks later, another group was in the Mayflower Theatre to enjoy the show Cabaret, the harrowing story of the rise of the Nazis and its effect on characters associated with the Kit Kat Klub in Berlin 1931. Written by John Kander and Fred Ebb there are some powerful musical numbers, and the story was well told by the cast led by Wayne Sleep and Samantha Barks (of TV’s “I’d do Anything”), despite a few graphic excesses of the director. But then “life is a cabaret, old chum” as the hit song from the show has it.
Fusion Concert Thirty pupils from across the year groups performed various solo and ensemble items at the informal Fusion Concert in February. There were moving songs from Fifi Smart, Milly Stevenson, Ellie Steel, Anna Roberts, Claire Perrot and Sarah Crampton-Barden, and three lively numbers from the Flute Choir. Three rock bands performed high energy numbers to complete the eclectic musical evening.
RAF Central Band Concert 11th February On 11th February the Lower School enjoyed an exciting performance by the RAF Central Band. The up-beat concert featured many well known film and television themes and gave the pupils an opportunity to participate. Head of Art, Mr Long, was able to demonstrate his fine conducting skills when he took to the stage and conducted the visiting band in ‘Tea for Two’.
Spring Concert Over one hundred and eighty musicians took to the stage on Wednesday 11th March for the School Spring Concert. It was an eclectic mix of high quality music with something to suit all tastes. The Symphony Orchestra opened the evening with a powerful performance of the third movement from Brahms’ fourth symphony and this was followed by the choirs, Concert Band, String Orchestra, Sinfonietta and a range of soloists all on top form. The evening concluded with the Big Band’s stunning performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with sixth form soloist Tom Sharp. The Hall was full to capacity and the audience played its part in the proceedings with hearty applause and cries of Bravo!
Extracts from mail received from members of the audience:
‘…amazingly high quality’
‘…a fantastic concert of quality, breadth and depth’
‘…high standards and great variety’
‘…an outstanding evening’
‘…truly accomplished playing’
‘…such a memorable and varied programme’
Southampton Music Festival Congratulations to Byung Gong, Bi Jia Wu, Reem Katifi, Natalie Fairhurst, George Tuck, Caroline Taylor and Jeremy Ferec-Dayson who were all cup winners at the 2009 Festival. The School Big Band won the Morris Challenge Cup and the String Orchestra won the Assumpta Brady Trophy. Jeremy Ferec-Dayson and the String Orchestra were also invited to play in the Festival’s Gala Concert for outstanding performances on 20th March.
Music for Youth National Festival The Big Band and String Orchestra travelled to Taunton’s College in March to play in the Regional Rounds of the Music for Youth National Festival. It was an enjoyable experience with both groups rising to the challenge. There were very positive comments from the adjudicators following the performances.
Winchester Cathedral Girl’s Choir Congratulation to Leah Jones and Tabitha Piggott in the second year, who have been selected to sing in the Winchester Cathedral girls’ choir following auditions. This is a wonderful achievement for the two KES girls who will rehearse twice weekly and sing in the cathedral service under the direction of Andrew Lumsden.
Global Rhythms Workshop and Concert On 21st April the Fourth year GCSE Music classes took part in a workshop with internationally acclaimed Indian table player, Sanju Sahai and bansuri flute player Lisa Mallett. The pupils were given an insight into the complex workings of Indian melodies and rhythms and were able to perform with the visitors in a piece entitled Hansadvhani. To complete the experience the Fourth years travelled to the Turner Sims Concert Hall in the evening to listen to the musicians in the concert Global Rhythms – a rich fusion of contemporary and traditional sounds, global percussive styles, raga melodies and inspiring improvisations.
String Orchestra Selected to Play at Symphony Hall Birmingham Following success in the regional rounds of the Music for Youth Festival in March, the String Orchestra was selected to play in the National Festival at Symphony Hall Birmingham in July. This was a wonderful achievement for the orchestra since only five were selected from the regional rounds up and down the country. It was an exciting day with the KES musicians winning the Music Education’s Council’s Award for School String and Chamber Orchestras.
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Examinations Over sixty musicians took practical music examinations at the school in May resulting in 25 passes, 31 merits and 10 distinctions. There were some high scores: Jenny Whitby Grade V piano with 140 marks, Anna Van der Star Grade II Flute with 139 marks and Rob Livingstone Grade VIII singing with 136 marks.
Midsummer Dreams Musicians, Artists and Dancers from KES took part in the Southampton City Council’s Midsummer Dreams on Saturday 27th June. The spectacular event, which was held in Southampton Art Gallery and outside the Guildhall Square, marked the start of work on a new ‘cultural quarter’ in Southampton which will be a new space dedicated to bringing the best of the city’s arts and culture together. At the open evening reception Katherine Daud and Rob Livingstone performed a short song recital, Jeremy Ferec-Dayson entertained with Flamenco guitar and dancers from Alien Zoo offered four exciting routines. There were also several pieces of A-Level artwork on display from KES artists. Following the formal reception there were fireworks and a magnificent display outside from Mobile Homme – a human mobile, which towered 40 metres in the air.
Arts Alive 2009 Hot on the heels of the schools examinations and in the glorious summer sunshine, Arts Alive ran from 23rd to 25th July. It was an action packed festival of events with performances, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and concerts that provided pupils with a focused platform to share and celebrate their works in the arts. It allowed pupils to take more creative risks, deal with more challenging circumstances and pursue new opportunities. In addition to members of the school staff twenty visiting artists worked alongside pupils in a range of activities:
African Music and Dance for the First Year
Bollywood Dance for all Second Years
Flamenco Music and Dance for Third Year Classes
Creative Sculpture project for GCSE Art pupils
Mime workshop for GCSE Drama pupils
Music and Physics Lecture for A level Music Technology and Physics classes
Creative Writing Workshop
The festival also incorporated key summer evening events such as the Third Year Theatre Studies Performances, Summer Music Recital and Art Exhibition. There were competitions in Storytelling, Music and Pavement Art and on the final day the kitchen staff served a popular Bollywood lunch to the accompaniment of Indian Dhol drummers and the whole school enjoyed a fun lunchtime of street theatre out on the field with buskers, portrait artists, dancers, magic, kite making, circus skills and side shows.