Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!
UK Mathematics Trust: Individual Competitions for Years 9, 10 and 11
In recent Weekly Highlights, we have shared news of how well Purcell students have progressed through the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge, and are now able to confirm that some of our young mathematicians were also invited to take part in the follow-on Pink and Grey Kangaroo competition rounds. These are 60-minute, multiple-choice competitions consisting of 25 problems and providing a challenging environment in which students have to apply their skills and knowledge.
The UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) invite only a few thousand UK-based students from the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge to take part in the Pink and Grey Kangaroo, and three of our students qualified.
We are delighted to announce that JiHyo (Year 9) achieved a Merit score in her competition, whilst Benji and Thomas (both Year 11) achieved a Participation score.
Congratulations to three of our top mathematicians!
Bird Song Research Project
Regular readers of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights may remember that, at the beginning of the Easter break, Purcell Science teacher Svetlana Emelianova set students a Bird Song research project to complete during their time away from school. The research papers are now all in, and Svetlana would like to share the following:
‘I have now collected the Easter holiday assignments about birds from all my classes. What an interesting, multifaceted and fascinating compilation of observations and research it made! Students from Years 7 to 13 participated in the bird research task and below are some amazing examples of that work.
I would like to draw attention to a particular thorough and comprehensive research project by Dana from Year 13, who collated data from a large number of sources in order to explain how birds use magnets in order to navigate during their long distance migrations.
Another interesting study is made by Phoebe from Year 9. She saved a little blue tit chick and raised it successfully, which is not an easy task (talking from experience). Enjoy Phoebe’s amazing audio and video recordings of her rescued pet bird.
I had many students expressing their enjoyment of this holiday assignment and I hope everybody will continue paying attention to nature and its truly remarkable sounds, smells and colours by which it communicates with us. We just need to relax, tune in and enjoy it.
My question to you now (all the Weekly Highlights readers) is: what is the name of the organ with which birds make their sounds and where is it located?’
As featured last week, the first year of Purcell’s International Online Composition Academy came to a close over the Easter break with a fantastic third and final term focussing on Composing for Film. Led by Purcell’s Head of Music Technology Aidan Goetzee, the academy students produced some truly exceptional work.
Produced over the course of two days, their scores for film can be enjoyed in the following recording of term three’s concert ‘Scoring the Film 2021’ which premiered on Sunday (25th) for academy students, their families and the OCA faculty.
Our congratulations to all of the academy’s young composers on a sensational concert, and to Aidan Goetzee for creating such a successful project. We would also like to extend our thanks to Purcell and OCA Technology Technician Tom Bell who, in the words of the Online Composition Academy Director Alison Cox, ‘worked like a Trojan to make everything look and sound great’.
Artwork of the Week
This week’s highlight from the Art Studio is a breathtaking etching by Madeleine in Year 12. To quote Purcell Art Technician Robin Williamson it is ‘absolutely, unbelievably, insanely brilliant’.
Traditional Turkish Music Composition Project
As part of Purcell’s Composition course, Year 13 composition Asli has devised and implemented an impressive project of cross cultural collaboration with players of traditional Turkish music, which explores the unique music that results when artists from different traditions come together to create new sounds.
Asli has arranged online seminars with leading Turkish percussionist Engin Gurkey, in which our young composers will work with Turkish rhythms to compose their own pieces. The output of these seminars will culminate in the online performance of three composers’ works, including Alsi’s own, by a Turkish orchestra featuring the celebrated Turkish folk singer Sabahat Akkiraz and musician Hasan Akkiraz. Purcell players will simultaneously join these performances, albeit remotely from the CP Hall, and the final concert will be made available to view to all after the event.
The vision, scope and creativity of this project is as vast as it is important, and we are excited to experience the bringing together of two contrasting and diverse musical traditions. Our very best wishes to Asli on this compelling undertaking.
Junior Academy Viola Prize
We were so pleased to hear that last weekend Danya (Year 10) won her category (Intermediate) in the Junior Academy Viola Prize. We are told that the adjudicator, Jane Atkins, was ‘very impressed with the overall quality of the performances and found making the final decision very difficult’. Well done to Danya on this very fine and hard fought achievement.
National Youth Orchestra: Take a Seat Award
It has been wonderful to hear over recent weeks of so many Purcell students taking up places with the National Youth Orchestra (NYO). We were particularly pleased to find out this week that Ella (Year 12) has become the recipient of the NYO’s Take a Seat programme. Take a Seat enables NYO advocates to support and become aligned with a specific member of the orchestra whose development they can sponsor over a number of years. Ella joins 40 other NYO musicians whose places are supported in this way.
Jessica Mogridge Performance Class
The Woodwind department were fortunate to have a performance masterclass on Monday with oboist and Cor Anglais player Jessica Mogridge. Her unique career combines teaching and orchestral playing, being a founding member of the oboe trio Pipers 3, and as a teacher Jessica focuses on preparing for performances and how to overcome the related difficulties. It was an enormously beneficial session, which our students responded fantastically well to.