This week we were treated to a lunchtime concert entitled ‘Summertime’ given by some talented staff from AGGS. This is a first for the school and came about as a result of Ms Mayall discovering that Mrs Butt (Trips co-ordinator) is an RNCM vocal music graduate in pop/jazz.
Thanks go to all 7 performers who gave up their time to rehearse for this event: Mrs Dickinson (voice), Mr Hodgson (banjo/voice), Mrs Hulme (voice), Mrs Stokes (cello), Mrs Butt(voice) and Ms Mayall (piano). Repertoire ranged from a piano Rachmaninov prelude to main song from Whistle down the Wind. Mrs Stokes also played Summertime on her cello, in keeping with the theme.
Thanks also to Miss Bown for assisting us with sound and photos and to Mrs Brennan and Mrs Butt for co-ordinating the flyer/programme.
80 girls performed in this annual Summer concert – a smaller event as many of the older girls are not in school, but nevertheless full of variety and quality of performances.
The programme included some very promising Y7 soloists, 3 Y10 GCSE soloists, Saxophone Ensemble, Jazz Band, Junior Choir and String Orchestra. Also Recorder Ensemble and Junior Strings – both led by students.
Many Y11 and Y13 students returned from their study leave to perform in String Orchestra and Recorder Ensemble. The former’s programme of very high calibre, with Anna T (Y11 and studying singing at the Junior RNCM) performing a Handel aria, accompanied by the String Orchestra, and a piece composed by a former parent, Adrienne Spilsbury (mother of Cerys and Ffion).
Junior Choir performed a 10 min fun cantata : Rooster Rag, describing the entertaining journey of a hen, rooster and cunning fox, using solos/choruses and some entertaining images on the screen. Thanks go to the Art Dpt for excellent masks and also the caretaking team, reprographics, staff helpers and PTA/World Challenge team for all of their support, without whom we could not put these kind of events on.
Maddie H, a Year 10 GCSE musician, performed at the Closing Ceremony of this year’s combined BFET Sports Day. She sang and played the guitar in front of a large crowd, which was a fantastic way of closing the day, and a great experience for her.
Students from Y7-13 performed informally this year at the Summer Fair both in the hall and outside in the Centenary Garden. They provided us with around 2 hours of music, including the recorder ensemble, and students playing piano/singing. This was a new initiative and it provided a lovely atmosphere at the fair.
For the second year running, this evening event was held in AGGS Main Hall. Approx 160 new Y7 parents/students attended and listened to an introductory talk, given by Ms Mayall, explaining the value of learning to play an instrument, the value of learning an ‘endangered’ instrument in particular, and also the music provision provided at school in terms of curriculum music lessons, extra-curricular music clubs (orchestras/bands/ensembles/choirs), in addition to optional instrumental lessons.
This year, 8 current Y7 students performed a short piece, showcasing the progress they had made on their instrument since September – all of these students demonstrated on ‘endangered’ instruments (brass, oboe, bassoon, drum kit, double bass) and their performances were really appreciated by the audience. New Y7s then had the opportunity to try out some of these instruments and apply for lessons. This new initiative is proving really popular and is also proving successful in building up the numbers of students opting for these more unusual instruments, which then feed our orchestras/ensembles etc and give them a life skill that will be highly sought after!
Feedback from parents was extremely positive. This initiative is part of our PTI Associate Department project, of which we have just completed our first year.
Congratulations to our Y13 musicians who have now completed their A2 composition coursework. They have spent this year listening to music as inspiration and have practised using more advanced harmony and compositional writing. This has resulted in these great pieces of which they should all be very proud.
Corrie G, Miriam B, Beth J, Chi-Yu and Ruby J all performed their own compositions.
We are grateful to the Piccadilly String Quartet who recorded both quartet parts.
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