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

Juniors Problem-Solving with Sweets and Spaghetti

This week, our Juniors have been solving mathematical problems using only spaghetti and sweets! Having been challenged to make 2D and 3D shapes with only these tasty treats, their hard work more than paid off with some fantastic shapes . . . even if some secret sweetie eating of the building blocks might have reduced their raw materials ever so slightly.
Juniors 2D 3D Shapes

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2021

We were delighted to hear that some of our young musicians have been offered places in the 2021 National Youth Orchestra (NYO). Danya (Year 10) and Chelsea (Year 13) are two such Purcell students who have joined the NYO 2021 intake for the viola and oboe, respectively. Congratulations to you both.

If you are the parent or guardian of a Purcell student with news akin to this – be these musical successes, academic achievements or extra-curricular activities – which you would like to share with our community, we would love to hear from you at publicity@purcell-school.org.

Gŵyl 2021

Last weekend, four welsh festivals teamed up to create a free online music and comedy program. One of the featured artists was alumna and celebrated harpist Catrin Finch, who performed with violist Aoife Ní Bhriain in a unique collaboration. Their performance, recorded in the National Museum Cardiff, is available on the BBC Arts Culture Quarantine website here, and further festival highlights can be viewed here.

Scala Radio’s Composer in Residence

Contemporary composer, pianist, radio presenter and alumnus Alexis Ffrench has been appointed Scala Radio’s first ever Composer in Residence. This unique role will see Alexis compose a piece of new music every month in response to a personal story, topical event or anniversary shared by a Scala Radio listener. Of the appointment, Alexis commented that ‘There are so many great stories out there, we hear them as presenters on Scala every day of the week. I’m always intrigued to get behind those stories and hear more about the individuals – their inspirations, their dreams, their aspirations. To be able to respond to that through music as well is going to be really special.’ Scala Radio listeners will be able to hear Alexis’ first composition from 23rd March across the Scala Radio schedule and in his Sunday afternoon show from 3pm.

RoostsTech Song Contest

Singer, songwriter and alumna Daisy Chute has won the Grand Prize at the 2021 RootsTech Song Contest, sponsored by Kawai, for her piece Music Is There. Daisy was one of over 1,500 songwriters from all over the world to write and submit songs on the theme of ‘connections’ for this year’s competition. A video of her award-winning song can be found here.

Sir Andrew Davis, CBE

The Lyric Opera of Chicago has added a new event to their 2020/21 programme. The concert will honour the celebrated conductor and Purcell patron Sir Andrew Davis, whose 21-year tenure as Lyric’s music director comes to an end at the close of this season. His relationship with the company began with his debut as guest conductor in 1987 and continued following his appointment as music director in 2000. The special presentation will feature Sir Andrew conducting excerpts from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (the first opera he conducted at Lyric) and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, interspersed with commentaries from several Lyric artists, sharing recollections about working with Sir Andrew as a conductor, mentor, and colleague.