Jemima’s Beautiful Painting

A beautiful painting by year 11 student Jemima as part of her GCSE project based on ‘Performance’. It is painted on wood and her subject is one of her friends and one of our very talented dancers. She was inspired brilliantly by the work of the portrait artist Jonathen Yeo.

Year 8 Dance Interform

On Monday 8th July, Year 8’s excitedly filed into the main hall and took our seats, ready to enjoy dance interform. We had spent the last few weeks working together in our forms – aided greatly by the dance teachers – to plan, choreograph, film, edit and produce a dance video based on the theme ‘Movies’. Now it was time to watch the final piece and see how the others forms had done.

8-1 was shown first with a fun and upbeat routine to Pitch Perfect. Then was 8-2 with a magical dance to Aladdin which was really enhanced by some wonderful edits. 8-3 came next with a routine set to Mulan, incorporating lots of different dance styles and showing everyone’s talents. An exceptional routine to James Bond: Skyfall by 8-4 followed. The dance was incredible and emotion shone through with the use of coloured lighting in the drama studio. 8-5’s energetic dance to Mama Mia has everyone clapping and singing along to their moves. Lastly, 8-6 showed their amazing routine to The Greatest Showman with groups and individuals showing off their many talents in a well edited video. Once we had watched all the entries, the judges took the time to decide upon a winner. In 3rd place was 8-5 with Mama Mia, 2nd went to 8-4 with their Skyfall routine and the Year Eight dance interform champions 2019 are 8-6 with the Greatest Showman!

It was a lovely afternoon celebrating people’s talents which the whole of year eight thoroughly enjoyed. Special thanks go to Miss Ansty, Mrs Collinson and Miss Godding for helping to put together the dances and to Mrs Walker and Mrs Cleary for judging the entries.

Written by Erin M

String Orchestra Music for Youth Birmingham July 2019

We had a wonderful day on 4th July in Birmingham with String Orchestra, who performed as part of the National string/chamber music final.

All 26 students from Y8 – 13  performed brilliantly. Despite there being a lack of chairs and music stands in the warm up room – see photo of chilled playing, cross legged on the floor!

It was wonderful for them to perform in such a prestigious venue. Birmingham Town Hall is beautiful and the concert stage and magnificent organ backdrop was a fitting platform for all the orchestras. Anna T sang the Elgar Sea Pictures as if a professional. One to watch in future! The Kodaly pieces were played with real passion and panache.

We performed alongside 6 other orchestras/string ensembles. Of these, we were the only orchestra from the north and there were just 3 schools (and 4 music hubs) represented nationally. Quite an achievement to be chosen from all the state schools/music services in the country.

This year, NFMY has embraced the celebration element of the festival. So no placings were given, as in the past. Instead, detailed feedback was given to each group, which was really good – wonderful to hear professional musicians give their independent comments and suggestions. And also completely fabulous to hear such repertoire from other orchestras played to such a high level. It was such a treat to just sit in the audience and enjoy 2 hours of performances. It was also lovely that we had such great parental support too in the hall.

We’d like to thank Janet Janes, who is inspirational as conductor of  string orchestra, sourcing amazing music (arranged by former parent Adrienne Spilsbury) and injecting such passion to rehearsals  – with such a high level of technical expertise too as violinist. She teaches many of the students individually and this really shows in their commitment to her and the orchestra, but also in the way they play.

Also to Cara Janes, who has coached the cello section and to Zoe Burke who has helped with the double bass part.

Bravo to all student string players!

Brass success

Well done to Róisín V (8-1) her sister Orla (who joins AGGS in Sept), Grace & Esther. They competed in the Kirkby Lonsdale band contest in the training section & came 1st.
They are members of Flixton Community Band who’d like to recruit new members to join them on Saturday mornings.

Senior Recital 2019

This term our Senior Recital showcased all our GCSE and A level students performing their coursework – solos and compositions – to an extremely high standard. It is always great at this stage to hear the result of their hard work since the beginning of the course.

In addition, the audience were treated to wonderful performances from both String Orchestra, directed by Mrs Janet Janes, and to Chamber Choir, led by Ms Julia Mayall, accompanied by Mrs Anne Marie Bentall. Their programmes were performed later that week at the regional heat in Rochdale Town Hall of the national competition, Music for Youth.

The programme comprised two wonderful songs from ‘Sea Pictures’ by Elgar, arranged for String Orchestra by a former parent, Ms Adrienne Spilsbury and sung by Anna Townsend. In addition they performed some exciting arrangements of a Kodaly piece.
Chamber choir sang an eclectic mix of music, from the folk blues song, led by Annie Stedman, to a clever arrangement of the Beatles’ song ‘Blackbird’, finishing with the stunning 8 part ‘Ave Maria’, written for double choir by Gustav Holst – all sung from memory.

We wish both groups well as they hope to be selected for the competition final in Birmingham in July.

Please do listen to soundclips from this competition, on @AGGS_Music

Y13 Drama performing Stolen Secrets in the style of Steven Berkoff

All three pieces were taken from ‘Stolen Secrets’ by Fin Kennedy and are about the dark and sinister secrets we keep underneath our day to day lives. These were inspired by an experiment, in which a locked box was placed in a school, and into which pupils and teachers placed their darkest secrets. They combined elements of both humour and horror, performed in the style of Steven Berkoff, a theatre practitioner who experiments with pace and expression. They were absolutely fantastic!

I really enjoyed watching the pieces. They were so different to what I expected, and I found it fascinating how they managed to make it both funny and scary at the same time. I thought they were all brilliant!

Spring Concert 2019

Tuesday 12th March marked the music department’s Spring Concert. Loads of students of all ages and abilities came together to perform a variety of different styles of music, from jazz, to classical, to popular music. There really was something there for everyone.

Particular highlights of the evening (although there are so many to choose from) included Flute Group’s creative use of percussion to mimic the sounds of a typewriter in their piece, ‘The Typewriter’, and First Orchestra’s rendition of various pieces of music from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ film series.

Here’s what Ms Mayall had to say…

“This term’s Spring Concert was very special. In addition to the 170 students from Y7- Y13 performing to their usual high standard, in the many choirs, orchestras, bands and ensembles, the Y13 students, led by Amy Howarth, sang a surprise last item: ‘Thank you for the Music’, including a number of wonderful solos, and accompanied by Sisi Huang. Amy organised this with her usual enthusiasm and it was a very fitting end to what was many of the Y13’s last ever concerts at AGGS. We will miss you as a year group – so musical and always so generous with the younger students, with very many of you leading ensembles and arranging music, giving up your time. Bravo!”

A wonderful time was had by all, especially the Year 13s. We have absolutely loved our time in the music department, not just participating in the concerts and having the opportunity to perform, but also simply having fun in our spare time. We’ll all really miss this, but we can’t think of a better concert to have gone out on. Thank you to you all!

By Amy, Year 13

The Magic Flute Opera Trip

Recently, Year 8 went to the Lowry to watch the opera of The Magic Flute. This was a very exciting experience and Year 8 were lucky to have it as this was the first time the opera was put on in Manchester.

This ties in with their topic right now as well as Year 8 are studying the feature of an opera and, more specifically, The Magic Flute! The opera is based on two musical instruments which keep Prince Tamino and his bird-catching aid Papageno safe. They battle through Sarastro’s trials and the Queen of the Night’s evil schemes to get to true love and friendship.

The performance at the theater showed them a different interpretation of the opera’s unique story and was extremely humorous. Year 8 thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

By Lakshayaa, 8-3

Year 12 dancers will perform at the Lowry

On the back of our Danceworks success, we have been invited to perform a pop-up performance at the Lowry Theatre on Friday 29th March!

Our Year 12 dancers will be performing a dance, about identity and migration, in the foyer of the Lowry Theatre at 7:30pm and again at 9pm, before Protein Dance Company’s show, Border Tales.

After the show, our students will take part in The Big Debate. The whole event is due to finish at 11pm: the moment we are due to leave the EU!

A very exciting opportunity for the dancers!

The dancers: Anouska J, Emily K, Carlotta MW, Kira P, Madeleine P, Sneha R, Aisling R, Isobella Y.