Today we were delighted to see the arrival of a new instrument to the Harp department.
The harp was made in Chicago, and chosen specially for its sound quality by Purcell harp teacher, Daphne Boden. Manufacturers, Lyon and Healy, have been making such instruments since 1889. Based in Chicago, the company is renowned for using the latest technology to refine parts of the instrument in greater detail and efficiency, and old-world craftsmanship to ensure that care, precision and pride go into the building of each harp.
Harp students at Purcell are taught by Daphne Boden and Charlotte Seale and department alumni include Catrin Finch, Daniel de-Fry, Juliana Myslov, and official harpist to The Prince of Wales, Anne Denholm.
On the exeat weekend, a group of ten 6th formers made their way to Whitchurch Canonicorum in the heart of the Dorset countryside for the Outreach tour, hosted and arranged by ex-Purcellian Headmaster John Bain and his wife Cynthia.
An early start for IMPULSE on Friday morning for a 9:00 interactive assembly at Symondsbury Primary School. Pablo led the performance as he took the children on a journey through the different families of the orchestra which included demonstrations and pieces from the piccolo, flute, trumpet, percussion, piano, harp, violin, viola and cello. Afterwards, the older pupils spent the rest of the morning in workshops with IMPULSE. Here they worked with IMPULSE to create and perform to each other a jazz standard, authentic folk song and an improvised percussive piece. A quick turn around and IMPULSE were on the road to the beautiful costal town, Lyme Regis to repeat the morning’s activities for St Michael’s School. This time the group’s cellist, Ibai, led the assembly and group warm ups before moving on to the workshops. One IMPULSE student said that this experience was ‘an amazing opportunity to have the privilege to work with and inspired young children who don’t usually have access to music.’ After a busy day of Outreach, all were looking forward to strolling along the beach in the sunshine and grabbing some ice creams. Unfortunately the seagulls were also happy to grab Thomas’s ice cream!
With fantastically virtuosic solo pieces and 3 world premieres of new compositions programmed for IMPULSE’s Saturday evening concert, Saturday morning and afternoon were filled with intense rehearsals. At 18:30 in Whitchurch Canonicorum Church, St Candida and Holy Cross, Hambel took to the stage to present the IMPULSE Community Concert to a full house. The programme, organised by Tom and Annie-May, was hugely varied from Ibai’s rendition of Bach’s cello suit No. 5 to Evie’s jazzy Gershwin/Heifetz numbers. Arnau conducted his own arrangement of Catalan piano pieces for string quartet and harp as well as the finale piece, an original composition by Callum inspired by a Japanese Civil War and especially written for all the members of the IMPULSE team.
Every person on the IMPULSE team was fantastic and the performances were loved by all – well done!
Well done to all involved in our concert at London's Wigmore Hall on Wednesday evening. The pupils played to a full hall, and it was a fantastic celebration of the music making that happens at the School.
The programme included Britten's Suite for violin, works for harp by Pierné and Tournier, Mozart arias, and piano works by Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt.
This past weekend 11 pupils were delighted to get to travel to Oxford for the day with Mr Harding, Miss Pearson and Mrs Wigodsky. On their travels they visited the University of Oxford's many colleges, library and beautiful gardens.
Additionally, pupils were able to tour the Ashmolean Museum- the worlds first university museum- and were then given the opportunity to explore the rest of the city at their leisure during their allocated free time.
Last year 8 produced posters for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chiltern and Middlesex section year 7 -10 competition titled ‘The Chemistry Around You’. Pupils were free to tackle any idea that interested them. The ideas produced demonstrated the incredible imagination of ours students and the broad range of subjects they tackled included water, gases, soap, music in the body, cleaning products and chocolate!
Over the summer the results were announced and we were delighted to hear that Eva Serksnaite was Highly Commended for her poster on “The Chemistry of Violins”. Her prize was a certificate and an Amazon voucher. The poster will also be put on display at the section AGM at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House.
Vanessa Nottage, competition organiser said “Thank you so much for taking part in the poster competition.
The standard of the posters submitted was really very impressive. Some of the younger students produced posters which were particularly imaginative and interesting.”
Peter Banks, Chemistry Teacher was delighted with the result and said “I was delighted that Eva’s hard work and imagination was rewarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, I’d like to thank them for this opportunity for our young chemists and look forward to future opportunities to promote collaboration between music and the sciences.”
Huge congratulations to Purcell alumna, pianist Kasumi Yui and her duo partner, violinist Soo Hyun Park, who won the top prize in the chamber music category of the 23rd International Johannes Brahms Competition held last Friday in Pörtschach, Austria. Yui, 25, and Park, 26, are currently studying chamber music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. The Johannes Brahms competition is one of the most prestigious music contests in Europe.
This past weekend was a busy one for the pupils of Avison House who participated in a number of activities aimed at team building. They included Canoeing in Leaside, trampolining at Mega Jump and felting here at Purcell. The Avison pupils had an incredible time getting to know one another and their house staff while learning valuable skills.
Mr Banks described the weekend as "A great success, all the pupils had a wonderful time and it was fantastic to see them learning to work together as a team and enjoying solving the challenges that the activities of the weekend presented them with. We are now all looking forward to working together all year."
The Purcell School has been privileged today to host a group of visitors from Tokyo. The delegation was led by Professor Kazuki Sawa, a distinguished violinist, and Principal of the Tokyo University of the Arts. The university has strong links with the Royal Academy of Music here in London and The Purcell School is keen to forge links with the school which feeds the university. Plans are already underway for a visit from the school next September which will see a collaboration between their orchestra and The Purcell School’s orchestra. Headmaster Stephen Yeo says ‘ we are excited at the possibility of building musical and cultural links with Japan which will be to the mutual benefit of both UK and Japanese students’.
Today we welcomed Brightfutures to lead a seminar with the new sixth form pupils.
Working both as a team and individually pupils engaged in a wide variety of activities aimed to strengthen the skills they will need throughout their sixth form experience. Covering topics such as the impact of ones mindset on learning and revision techniques pupils learnt the best ways to survive the new stage in their education.