Purcell School Chemistry Teacher, Peter Banks took on the challenge of a lifetime and completed his first London Marathon last Sunday in a very respectable 4 hours and 22 minutes.
He was running for Sense, a charity supporting the deafblind, and has currently raised an amazing £1100.
You can donate by visiting www.justgiving.org/pbanksrun
Well done Mr. Banks!
The Purcell School is pleased to announce that Robert Saxton will become Composer-in-Association at the school from September 2013. Professor Saxton will visit the school each year to work with our young composers and advise on their development.
Robert Saxton is currently Professor of Composition, University of Oxford, and Tutorial Fellow in Music, Worcester College, Oxford. He is one of the UK’s most prolific composers, having composed works for many leading ensembles and soloists. His works have been performed at the BBC Proms and at many UK Music Festivals, and his works have been recorded on the Sony Classical, Hyperion, Metier, EMI , NMC and Divine Art labels.
The Purcell School Composition department is one of the most successful in the UK, with several students each year winning scholarships to study composition at leading conservatoires. Other recent successes include commissions for students to write for the Royal Opera House and the Commonwealth Day Service in Westminster Abbey.
Headmaster David Thomas said, ‘We are delighted that Robert Saxton will be joining our Composition department, as he brings a wealth of experience of both composing and the teaching of composition, and we look forward to welcoming him to the school.'
Congratulations to Francesca Biescas Rue (Year 7), who has won the British Flute Society School Performer Competition 2013 for Grades 5-8. In the Grade 8+ Class, Matthew Higham (Year 10) was awarded a Performers’ Medal. Both Francesca and Matthew are taught at The Purcell School by Anna Pope.
The competition was held on Wednesday 20th February at Regent Hall Oxford Street London, and was adjudicated by Robert Manasse & Anna Noakes.
Pupils from The Purcell School gave a concert to a packed house on Wednesday 27th February, at a concert in aid of The Watford Peace Hospice.
Guests at this third annual Peace Classics Concert helped raise more than £4,000 for the Hospice.
Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill and mayor of Hertsmere councillor Pat Struck were among the audience of 200.
Music ranged from Chopin and Bach to an up tempo jazz set and some student-written pieces.
Roger Gagan, chief executive of Watford Chamber of Commerce
and a member of the group that organised the event, said: "The young musicians were brilliant. There was something for everyone, from serious classical music to jazz."
That sentiment was echoed by Frazer Ansell, Editorial Manager of the Watford Observer: "We really are lucky to have such a musical gem in our midst. This is the third year of the concert and it just gets better and better. The skill of the young musicians is quite frankly astonishing. It is a privilege for the newspaper to be involved in such a prestigious event, with some of the world’s finest young musicians and benefiting the wonderful Peace Hospice"
The evening was sponsored by the Blue Check restaurant which provided wine and fruit juice for the pre-concert reception and during the interval which included hot food prepared and served by catering students from West Herts College
Purcell School pupil, Aleem Kandour (UVI), has been selected to perform at a special concert to promote peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The concert will take place on Monday 1st April in the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Performances will be given by young musicians from all over the world, including the Carnegie Hall Junior Orchestra and Chorus, young musicians from Hiroshima, the Chinese Student Chorus, the American Boys Chorus and Russian Young Singers. All of the musicians will join together at the end of the concert for a performance of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus.
The concert is being organised by the Harmony for Peace Foundation, founded by pianist Yasuko Mitsui, and is supported by the Mayor of Hiroshima.
18 year-old Aleem has been at The Purcell School for seven years and studies violin with Natalia Boyarsky. His place at the School is supported by a Government Music and Dance Scheme Scholarship.
Purcell School pupil and composer, Alan Mofti (Y11), has been commissioned to write a short spectacular fanfare for the arrival of Her Majesty The Queen at Commonwealth Observance Day in Westminster Abbey on Monday 11 March 2013.
Alan’s fanfare will be played by talented young brass players, including some Purcell School pupils. It will be performed after the procession of Commonwealth Flags, just as the Queen steps out of her car and walks towards the entrance of the Abbey.
Every year on the second Monday in March, 54 countries join together in celebration of the links they share as members of one diverse and dynamic global family - the modern Commonwealth.
In the UK, one way in which this special day is celebrated is with a unique event in London's Westminster Abbey coordinated by the Royal Commonwealth Society. The theme for this event is 'Opportunity through Enterprise’. Through a mix of world music, dance and personal testimonies, the event will celebrate economic innovation throughout the Commonwealth and our shared commitment towards youth, social and sustainable enterprise.
The UK's largest multi-faith celebration, the Commonwealth Day Observance is attended by Her Majesty The Queen, the Prime Minister, High Commissioners, up to 200 other VIPs and more than 1,000 schoolchildren.
16 year-old Alan isn’t too daunted by the prospect, having already had a composition of his played at the Royal Festival Hall in 2012. He comments: ‘I’m just very excited about this opportunity – it’s very high profile and I hope people enjoy my music!’
Alan joined The Purcell School in 2007 on a Government Music and Dance Scheme Scholarship and studies composition with Joseph Phibbs.
Two ex-Purcellians have won First Prize in their age categories in the prestigious 2013 International Piano Competition Lagny-sur-Marne in France.
Alexander Ullman (pictured) came away with four prizes: First Prize, The City of Lagny Prize, The Audience Prize, and The Student Prize in Category B (for pianists up to 30 years old). 21 year-old Alexander was at The Purcell School from 2002-2009 and is currently studying at the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia.
12 year-old George Harliono-Evans won First Prize in Categroy A, (for pianists up to 15 years old).
The pair received high praise from the panel of adjudicators: Pascal Nemirovski, Royal Academy of Music London, Ariele Butaux, France Musique Radio, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Cleveland Institute, USA, Beatrice Quoniam-Chauvel, Director of the Competition, France and Ting Zhou, Head of Piano, Middle School Shanghai Conservatory, China.
Congratulations to them both!
Purcell pupil, Matthew Higham (Y10), has won the Laura Marco Prize for 2012. This prize has been awarded annually, since January 1984 in connection with the ABRSM examinations in music in the preceding year, and is offered to the candidate gaining the highest marks, not less than 135 or at the Board's discretion, in Grade 8 Flute.
The prize was made possible by the generosity of the friends of the late Laura Marco, a young doctor who took up the flute after leaving medical school.
Congratulations to violinist and Purcell alumna, Joo Yeon Sir, who was the overall winner of the Royal College of Music Summer Concerto Competition 2012.
She will be playing the rarely performed Alfred Schnittke Violin Concerto, a powerful and dramatic work heavily influenced by Shostakovich, with the RCM Philharmonic on 14 February at 6:00pm in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall. Conducted by Graham Ross, her performance is part of an hour-long concert dedicated to Russian repertoire.
For more details please see: http://ow.ly/hkBnr
The Okeanos Ensemble visited School today to perform Okeanos Breeze (2001)
, written by Dai Fujikura, scored for oboe, clarinet, viola, koto and sho.
The players gave demonstrations of the traditional Japanese instruments and explained how they are used in this piece alongside the western instruments.
Japanese born Fujikura, a composer of contemporary classical music was a member of the composition teaching staff at The Purcell School.
This February the Okeanos Ensemble give their debut at the Barbican in a concert as part of BBC Radio 3's Total Immersion weekend featuring the music of Dai Fujikura.
You can catch them on Friday 1 February on BBC Radio 3's In Tune: http://ow.ly/hilJa