Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!
Commercial and Popular Music Update
In May of last year, we were tremendously proud to launch a new first study Commercial and Popular Music Music Department, with students taking up their places at the beginning of this academic year.
Led by Head of Department Simon Allen, with a tutor team of industry professionals, our students are receiving a unique programme of study to equip them both with the skills necessary for careers in commercial and popular music, and providing a rare pathway to Modern Music degree courses. Following a generous gift from a benefactor, these students are now able to have their lessons, rehearse and perform in a high quality, dedicated teaching and performance space. The work has seen a complete remodelling of the upper floor of Purcell’s West Wing, and is a magnificent addition to our facilities.
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Julian Lloyd Webber and Michael Portillo Discuss Classical Music
On Saturday 7th January 2023, a film crew visited Purcell to record a documentary entitled ‘What is Classical Music?’ for GB News. The programme, which was shot in the Recital Room, saw Michael Portillo and Purcell Patron Julian Lloyd Webber take a musical journey through the centuries to explore classical music. Our students Luca (Year 8), Celeste (Year 9), Hana (Year 13), Jessica (Year 13), Fiona (Year 13) and Emma (Year 12) provided musical examples to illustrate their conversation.
A short version of the programme was aired on Sunday 8th January, and the full interview is available below.
Concerts Week in Review
This week is another fruitful concert week showcasing the brilliant performances and compositions of our students at a lunchtime concert at St. Peter’s St. Albans, a Sixth Form Concert, Purcell Parallels I: Chamber Expressions and 4 lunchtime concerts.
Well done and thank you for your excellent performances and compositions: Andrea Lam, Tianyu Zhou, Samuel Kemp, Yoko Afi, Chonchanok Sophonpanich, Ms Shah, Tori Li, Jessis Gu, Chloe Harrison, Rhea Jo, Mina Hobson-Mazur, Nancy Zong, Tianyu Zhou, Noah Chiari, Ted Porter, Zaki Osahn, Djordje Jovanovic, Freddie Garner, Mr. Swain, Cindy Zhang, Yifei Yuan, Henrietta Dalgleish, Dominic-Lucian Drutac, Fiona Chan Vee Chow, Ella Harrson, Thomas Wang, Carla Lee, Marija Jovanovic, Rebecca Nicolas, Jessica Nelson, Dianna Kim, Cole Lam, Alex Holford, Yoko Afi, Seth Wilsher, Da In Kim, Ozel Gunhanlar, Sebastian Williams, Bejni Lock, Edward Tait, Francesca Stevenson, Mr. Speare, Mr. Longstaff, Mr. Howard, Oscar Mao, Ilya Emirali and Luca Newman.
We are looking forward to the Middle School Concert on Friday at 3pm in the Recital Room.
Purcell Physiotherapist Update
Following on from last week’s feature, Purcell’s Physiotherapist Sarah Upjohn continues to work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as a Performing Arts Medicine Physiotherapist on their 3 month ‘wellness at work’ assessment. A particular highlight of this work has been finding out about the important work the CBSO support staff do to enable the Orchestra to go on tour and play at the Symphony Hall.
In addition to those highlighted events below, please visit our new online Concerts and Events Guide here.
Wednesday 25th January 2023 – Tasmin Little Public Masterclass
Time: 7.00 – 9.00pm
Venue: CP Hall
Tickets: Free admission. No booking required
The Purcell School masterclasses offer students the chance to play to some of the world’s most eminent musicians, performers and teachers.
Tasmin Little is a British violinist and concerto soloist, chamber musician, scholar and television producer. She received an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II for Services to Music in 2012.
This violin masterclass will feature performances of Messiaen, Korngold and Tchaikovsky from Year 13 violinists Jessica, Frankie and Barbare, and is open to the public. Please do join us.
Friday 27th January 2023 – Middle School Concert
Time: 3.00 – 4.15pm
Venue: Recital Room
Tickets: Free admission. No booking required
Saturday 28th January 2023 – Amadeus Chamber Orchestra Concert
Time: 7.30 – 9pm
Venue: Church of St Peter, St Peter’s St, St Albans AL1 3HG, UK
Tickets: Discounted admission in advance is £15 (£3 accompanied school children) online here. Booking fees apply. Admission on the door is £18; £3
The Amadeus Chamber Orchestra (the orchestra of St Albans) and Purcell soloist Chloe Jiang (piano) will perform at St Peter’s Church, St Albans.
The programme will include: Salieri: Overture to La Grotta di Trofonio Mozart: Piano Concerto No.23 in A Beethoven: Symphony No.7
Monday 6th February – Cadogan Hall
Venue: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ
Tickets: £20, £17.50, £15, £12.50 (Students & Under 18; £5 off) available from the venue’s website here
Pucell’s Symphony Orchestra will perform at Cadogan Hall under the baton of guest conductor Natalia Luis-Bass, with soloist Beste Gürkey on marimba. Beste is a recent alumna and joint-winner of the School’s Senior Concerto Competition, 2022. The programme highlights works by Gabriela Ortiz, Séjourné and Debussy, as well as Purcell’s own Simon Speare.
The Purcell School Symphony Orchestra
Marimba: Beste Gurkey
Conductor: Natalia Luis-Bassa
Programme Gabriela Ortiz: Teenek Séjourné: Marimba Concerto Simon Speare: The Secret of Rain Debussy: La Mer
Monday 6th March – The Purcell School Jazz Ensembles with special guest Derek Nash
Time: 8.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm)
Venue: Pizza Express, 10 Dean St, London W1D 3RW, UK
Tickets: £12 from venue’s box office here
Purcell’s Jazz players join forces with UK saxophone star Derek Nash for a concert of his jazz and funk influenced compositions.