National Youth Orchestra (NYO) 2024

We have been delighted to find out over the course of this week that some of our talented young musicians have been offered places in the 2024 National Youth Orchestra (NYO). Louis (Year 13), Danya (Year 13) and Ella (Year 12) are three such Purcell students who will join the NYO’s 2024 intake for double bass, viola and cello, respectively. In addition, Danya has been awarded Principal viola and Ella Co Principal cello. Our congratulations to you all.

The full orchestral list will be published by the NYO in early October here. If, however, you are a parent or guardian of a Purcell student whose name has not been included here and should be, please do let us know at Likewise, if you have any news that you would like shared in our Weekly Highlights – be these musical successes, academic achievements or extra-curricular activities – we would love to hear from you.

BBC Sounds Plays . . .

We are thrilled for Year 12 commercial piano and voice student Oscar, who has had not one but two of his original songs played recently on the BBC Sounds radio show ‘BBC Music Introducing . . . The South West’. Produced and presented by Daniel Pascoe, the broadcast showcases the best in unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar music – and Oscar is just that.

Oscar’s first track to air, entitled Afterlife, was played on 16th September here (1:00:39), while the second, Closer, was broadcast on 23rd September here (1:12:29).

Oscar studies at Purcell in the Commercial and Popular Music department, and we have everything crossed that we will hear more of his original songs as the year progresses. Congratulations, Oscar.

Concert Department Highlights

This week we performed two sensational school concerts, as well as the annual family concert at Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival, and four lunchtime concerts.

Well done to all performers for their outstanding playing: Teresa, Samsara, Anna, Ella, Jacqueline, Shlomi, Alexander, Sonya, Lorenzo, Isaac, Madeleine, Yu-Wei, Maria, Martin, Tori, Dianna, Theadora, Emma, Lindsey, Teresa, Ken, Yeju, Lucas, Aaron and Victor.

Sir Simon Rattle And Mahler’s Ninth

The BBC have released footage of the final moments of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. Known as the ‘farewell symphony’, Mahler’s Ninth was a particularly poignant choice for Sir Simon’s final UK performance as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Sir Simon Rattle is also Purcell’s President, and it is with huge admiration that we share the closing moments of this outstanding and momentous performance here.

Jacob Collier Announces 4th Vol. of ‘Djesse’ Franchise

Award-winning, multi instrumentalist and alumnus Jacob Collier will release the fourth edition of his Grammy-decorated Djesse project on 29th February 2024.

Jacob has won a Grammy for a track from each of the first three volumes in the franchise and with Little Blue, the newly released single from the forthcoming album, he is in a fantastic position to do so again. The hypnotic ballad also features vocals from Brandi Carlile.


Purcell Physiotherapist Update

In addition to her weekly visit to Purcell, School physiotherapist Sarah Upjohn has been busy promoting musicians’ health and wellbeing through a number of organisations. Last Friday, she was at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) at University College London for a Performing Arts Medicine Day, and this week she has spoken at the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine (ACPSEM) about physiotherapy for musicians. The key takeaway from these sessions is that ‘The links between exercise and health are really clear: exercise helps everyone, including musicians, by increasing the resilience of muscles and tendons, promoting wellbeing, and maintaining overall cardio-respiratory and musculoskeletal health’.

Forthcoming Events

In addition to those highlighted events below, please visit our new online Concerts and Events Guide here.

Saturday 30th September – Family Concert at Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival
Time: 2pm
Venue: St Etheledreda’s Church, 2 Fore Street, Hatfield AL9 5AL
Tickets: Tickets are £12 for adults and £5 for 4-18 year olds, and available from the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival website here.

The young musicians of The Purcell School are excited to return, for a third year, to the annual Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival, and will be performing the Family Concert.

Leopold Mozart Toy Symphony
Rachel Bruerville Dancing on Tiptoes
Purcell School Student World Première
Vivaldi Four Seasons Autumn

James Mayhew, Illustrator
Purcell School for Young Musicians
Paul Hoskins, Conductor
Dancer from Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance

Wednesday 11th October – Robin Holloway 80 Celebration
Time: 7pm
Venue: CP Hall, The Purcell School
Tickets: Free admission. No booking necessary

In celebration of renowned composer Robin Holloway’s 80th birthday The Purcell School presents this concert. More information and the programme will be released shortly.

Friday 13th October – Lunchtime Concert at St John’s Boxmoor
Time: 12.30pm
Venue: St John the Evangelist, Station Road, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1JY
Tickets: Admission by donation. No booking required

Friday 13th October – Lower School Concert
Time: 3pm
Venue: Recital Room, The Purcell School
Tickets: Free admission. No booking required

Join us in the final concert of this half term and hear some of our youngest musicians who are incredibly keen to perform! For some this will be their first public performance as Purcellians.

Monday 20th November – Purcell Symphony Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: St John’s Smith Square, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA, UK
Tickets: Tickets are £5 to £20 and available to purchase here

Purcell School Symphony Orchestra
Paul Mann, Conductor
Hana McDowell, Violin
Ekaterina Chunikhina, Oboe

Laila ArafahSlacktide, Warbling (Purcell Parallels, WP)
Daniel Fardon – August Tune: Running Music (Purcell Parallels, WP)
Bartók Violin Rhapsody No 1
Martinu Oboe Concerto
Brahms, arr. Robin Holloway, Symphony in F minor

Tuesday 21st November – Purcell Symphony Orchestra at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Time: 1.05pm
Venue: Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham B4 7XR, UK
Tickets: Free admission. Booking, however, is required. Please book here.

Purcell School Symphony Orchestra


Laila ArafahSlacktide, Warbling (Purcell Parallels, WP)
Daniel Fardon – August Tune: Running Music (Purcell Parallels, WP)
Brahms, arr. Robin Holloway, Symphony in F minor