Purcell’s Soloist and Duo at Wigmore Hall

Heartfelt congratulations to our soloists and duo who performed at Wigmore Hall this week. Wigmore Hall has long occupied a special place in the hearts of our students, and many of our performers were making their debuts on Wednesday night. No fewer than 35 students auditioned for the opportunity to perform on this stage, and we could happily have presented many more programmes if time and space allowed. The concert, which was truly superb and conveyed with remarkable assurance, represented a celebration of their hard work, and also heralded the beginning of a very long and individual journey for each of them.

The programme was an assortment of contrasting pieces, grouped in two halves. The evening began with music that was almost all French or English, and concluded with pieces from Hungarian or Czech composers.

Bravo Nancy (piano, Y13), Mina (viola, Y13), Suanoi (flute, Y12), Ali (percussion, Y13), Grace (piano, Y13), Dominic (violin, Y13), Lindsey (cello, Y13) and Birce (clarinet, Y12)! You should all feel incredibly proud.


Purcell Composer and Clarinet player Wins Woodwind Challenge Cup

We were delighted to hear last week that Year 10 clarinettist Matilda won the Woodwind Challenge Cup and a Silver Medal at the recent Sutton Music Festival. The cup, awarded to the competing woodwind player with the highest overall mark, was bestowed on Matilda following a 92% score for a Denisov Sonata from the celebrated clarinet academic Paul Harris.

Our congratulations to Matilda who, in addition, has also been offered a place in the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) and a place on the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) Inspire residential course in the new year. Very well done.


Commercial and Popular Music Department Meet A&R Executive

Earlier this week the Commercial and Popular Music Department hosted A&R Executive Ollie Hodge in the JCS. He spoke to the department’s young musicians about his career and his role as an A&R Executive, discussing specifically his experiences with record companies such as Columbia and Polydor, and the process of signing artists like George Ezra.

Ollie Hodge also listened to the students play their original songs and offered advice on how to further develop them. It was a really productive and inspiring afternoon ahead of the Session Bands concert next Tuesday at 7pm!

Our thanks to Head of Commercial and Popular Music, Simon Allen for making this experience possible.

Tuning Masterclass with Mira Benjamin and Joseph Bates

On Friday 17th November, all Sixth Form string players and first study composers were treated to a masterclass and workshop from renowned violinist Mira Benjamin (lecturer in performance at Goldsmiths University) and composer Joseph Bates (composer-researcher from York University) on tuning and microtonality. Much music from around the world, as well as historical Western classical music, and contemporary experimental music, use systems other than ’12 tone equal temperament’. Mira Benjamin and Joseph Bates delivered a masterclass and workshop on the practice of ‘just Intonation’. Students were taught about the mathematical relationships between notes, and learned to differentiate between different tunings aurally. They then work-shopped these skills practically, gearing them up for the next stage of the project, which will culminate in a concert in February.

Our thanks to Composition teacher Daniel Fardon for arranging this session.