Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!
Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival 2022: Schools Concert
This week saw our Chamber Orchestra perform in the annual Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival’s two Schools concerts. Entitled Once Upon a Tune, the audience of primary school children were treated to performances of Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade – The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship, and Rossini’s William Tell Overture. While the orchestra played, illustrator James Mayhew painted the scenes from the books which inspired these wonderful pieces of music – absorbing the audience by sight and sound.
Purcell Songwriter Performs Original Pieces in Chesham
On Saturday 24th September, Year 9 songwriter Clara performed at The Drawing Room music venue and restaurant in Chesham. The event was part of the venue’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Clara performed three of her own songs and a cover of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
It sounds like a wonderful evening! Congratulations, Clara.
Student Composer Wins at the World Classical Music Awards
We were thrilled to hear earlier this week that Year 10 composer Leyla has won two Gold Prizes in the Composition Category of the World Classical Music Awards (Seasons 2 and 3).
The first of the winning scores was set to a short clip from the popular Netflix series Bridgerton, while the second was set to a short clip from a Czech film called Casino.SK.
Leyla is delighted with the double win, and we could not be happier for her.
International Gumusluk Music Festival
During the summer, Year 13 pianist Ozel travelled to Turkey to take part in the International Gumusluk Music Festival’s piano course. Ozel received masterclasses from renowned Spanish pianists Juan Lago and Belen Navarro, as well as from celebrated Turkish pianist Gulsin Onay. The piano course culminated in a concert in which Ozel played Liszt Ballade No 2.
What a fantastic experience! Congratulations, Ozel.
Purcell’s Performance Week in Review
W/C 25th September: This week there was a Middle School concert on Wednesday evening, and two Schools concerts at Hatfield House as part of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival. There were also four lunchtime concerts.
The students who took part in these events were as follows:
Middle School Concert: Hannah, Yagmur, Phoebe, Skye, Yazdi, Marina, Ali, Alexander and Melody.
Hatfield House Schools Concerts: Henrietta, Francisca, Hana, Gabriella, James, Barbare, Shlomo, Dominic-Lucian, Louis, Jessica, Antonia, Clio, Iklim, Minsuk, Fiona, Sebastian, Jennifer, Da In, Lindsey, Emma, Louis, Tom, Chonchanok, Alana, Rhea, Birce, Zaki, Sacha, Ostap, Chloe, Eleanor, Freddie, Rhys, Alex, Dominic, Joshua, Ali, Aaron and Edward.
Lunchtime Concerts: Jayden, Gabriella, Farrah, Rowena and Aaron.
Inaugural Alumni Afternoon
We were delighted to welcome some of our past students to Purcell’s inaugural Alumni Afternoon on Sunday 11th September 2022.
The afternoon was a warm and intimate celebration of all things the School has achieved in the last 60 years, since first opening its doors. It was wonderful to hear not only about our alumni’s experience of Purcell but of all their accomplishments and careers since.
We would like to extend our thanks to all who joined us, and to those current students who performed so magnificently for us.
Paul Sartin In Memoriam
It is with great sadness that we share news of the unexpected passing on 14th September 2022 of alumnus, multi-instrumentalist, folk singer, composer and arranger Paul Sartin. Paul studied the oboe and violin at The Purcell School before becoming a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford. His enduring passion, however, was for traditional and folk music which saw him become a founding member of Faustus, Bellowhead and Belshazzar’s Feast.
Our thoughts are with all of Paul’s family and friends.
Alumna Wins 2022 Gerald Moore Award
We were incredibly pleased to hear that pianist, alumna and once Head of School Jong sun Woo has become the 2022 recipient of the Gerald Moore Award. The award is given by the Royal Philharmonic Society in recognition of outstanding piano accompaniment.
Jong sun Woo studied at The Purcell School under Patsy Toh, who said of this triumph ‘In a field which has been largely dominated by male accompanists and still is; I think this is a wonderful achievement on many counts. I am very proud of her’. Our congratulations.
Here at Purcell we are tremendously fortunate to have an in-house physiotherapist, Sarah UpJohn. When not busy with all things Purcell, Sarah’s specialist expertise is in great demand throughout the country and abroad. What follows is a brief round up of her recent activity in Oslo.
‘I spent last weekend in beautiful Oslo, and took part in the international ‘Musicians and Performing Artists Health and Performance Conference’ (MHPC22). It was held over three days at the prestigious Norwegian Academy of Music, with several hundred delegates from 17 countries. I had been invited to give a 30 minute presentation about the innovative work of the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain in response to the Lockdown of 2020 caused by COVID19, The presentation evolved from an academic paper that I had published in 2021, in the peer reviewed ‘Journal of Music, Health and Wellbeing’.
It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up face to face, with colleagues, collaborators and friends from the world of Performing Arts Medicine, and to listen to cutting edge research, current findings, and thoughts for the future, from this rapidly moving, highly innovative, career-preserving, life-changing, educationally relevant field.
. . . And I got to walk to the top of the roof of the Oslo Opera House, and saw a wonderful view of the Oslo Fjord in the Autumn sunshine!’.
Organathon Update: Timetable and Programme
We are excited to be able to share with you the timetable for our forthcoming Organathon!
The event will begin at 7.30pm on Thursday 13 October 2022 and run for 24 hours, during which time our brilliant (although questionably crazy) Principal Paul Bambrough will perform a staggering 12 recitals to raise funds for a new school organ and to mark the 60th anniversary of The Purcell School first opening its doors.
Details of all the recitals are listed in the timetable below, and the full programme is available here.
The Organathon is open to the public and all are welcome to attend and support Paul at any of the recitals throughout the 24-hour period. The timetable outlines the recital schedule to help you plan your attendance. Alternatively, all recitals will be livestreamed via our website.
The details of the many ways you can donate are outlined here and your support, big or small, will be gratefully appreciated.
It would be fantastic if you could join us, and thank you in advance for your support.
Open Morning: Sunday 9th October 2022
We are looking forward to welcoming prospective students and parents to our forthcoming Open Morning on Sunday 9th October. Those in attendance will meet staff and students, take in the campus facilities and enjoy the outstanding music-making that characterises the School.
Please feel free to share news of the Open Morning.
Registration is open now, please click here to attend.
Clarinet and Saxophone Festival
Our next Clarinet and Saxophone Festival will take place on Sunday 4th December 2022, from 2.00 to 5.00pm. The afternoon will consist of instrumental masterclasses for young musicians in years 5-11 (inclusively), of approximately Grade 4 standard and above, and culminate in a group performance opportunity.
Students will further their musical and performance skills, as well as be able to play together for fun with Purcell’s top instrumental teachers, Head of Woodwind Joy Farrall, saxophone teacher Amy Green and clarinet teacher Stephen Williams.
Registration is open here on our website. Please do share news of the event with any interested young musicians.