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Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!

Award News for Year 8 Pianist

September has been an award-filled month for Phoebe Papandrea. The Year 8 pianist was awarded First Prize in the 2019 International Music Competition ‘Vienna’ Grand Prize Virtuoso, and performed a piano solo at the prize winner’s concert at Gläserner Saal, Musikverien, Vienna on Friday 13th September.

She was also bestowed First Prize and the Exceptional Young Musician Special Prize in the 2019 Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition, and will be playing a piano solo at the prize winner’s concert at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York on 2nd November.

In addition to this, Phoebe will take part in the Young Pianist of the North International Competition 2019 (Category A) in Newcastle from 19th to 23rd November 2019.

Robinson Award for Year 8 Horn Player

Year 8 student Alex Rowsell Ryan has been awarded the Robinson Award for Future Talent for the French Horn. The award will help support his studies, and Alex will be mentored by a professional musician through orchestra workshops.

Sunley House Pampering Evening

After an action-packed first full week of term, the boarders of Sunley House were treated to an evening of face masks, cucumbers on tired eyes, nail painting and hair curling. Whilst relaxing, they also enjoyed a feast of French bread, cheese, biscuits and grapes. It was a lovely end to a busy week and allowed new students to get to know the older Sunley boarders.

The Purcell Running Club

The first Purcell Running Club event took place on Saturday 14th September. A group of eight staff and students ran the five kilometre route around Aldenham Park in glorious sunshine. This run will take place every Saturday morning, meeting by the School minibus at 08:30. Runners will then travel to various local parks joining in the national parkrun scheme. Once registered a runner will receive a barcode that automatically times their run and emails them the time. This can be entered nationally at any 5km parkrun.

Mica Levi

Alumna Mica Levi has received critical acclaim for her hypnotic score of Alejandro Landes’ film about Colombia’s child soldiers, Monos. The New York Times describes Levi’s score as ‘precision-engineered postmodern discomfort’ while the Los Angeles Times praises the skill with which the music ‘oscillates between the earthly and the divine’. Monos opened in cinemas last weekend, and is Levi’s fourth film score to date.

Vladimir Ashkenazy

Last week, Purcell patron Vladimir Ashkenazy conducted violinist Viktoria Mullova and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in a programme of Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Dvořák. The New Zealand Herald described it as a ‘night to remember’ and ‘one of 2019’s concert highlights’.

Nicholas Daniel

Alumnus and oboist Nicholas Daniel joined many great contemporaries at the Wigmore Hall this week for the commencement of the Beethoven anniversary series. The Arts Desk described the playing as having ‘ravishing artistry’.

Irina Walters

Purcell Advanced Aural teacher Irina Walters’ has published a new arrangement, My Maple, for SATB choir. It is a romantic Russian song in which tenors and basses take the lead in introducing the melody, which then passes to the sopranos. The piece is available here.

EXEAT Weekend

Please be aware that the forthcoming EXEAT weekend will begin at 16:00 on Thursday 26th September, with the School minibus leaving for Watford Junction at 16:00.

Those few students who are still in lessons until 17:00 should be collected as swiftly as possible thereafter, as the School will be closed to all at 18:00 and only reopen to boarding students at 18:00 on Sunday 29th September.

Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival for Families

Please note that all students playing at the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival for Families on Saturday 28th September at 13:00, will need to be taken to the event and collected by their parents and guardians. This is because it is an EXEAT weekend and we are unable to provide transport.

We ask that students arrive at the venue at 09:45, and are collected at 14:00.

Art Department – Life Drawing

This week the Art Department have participated in the first life drawing workshop of the autumn term. We welcomed the Royal Academy of Arts team who spent the day teaching our Sixth Form artists. Some great work was produced during the workshop mainly using charcoal, to explore light and contrast, expressing their creativity through free line drawing. It was an amazing opportunity which has enabled our students to develop a deeper understanding of observational drawing and enhance their portfolios.