Purcell Student Becomes UK Maths Trust Regional Winner

We are over the moon to share the news that Year 9 student Kira has won first place in the East of England region in the Cayley Olympiad maths competition for Year 9 students.

This competition follows on from the Intermediate Maths Challenge that took place in March and is only open to the highest performing students. Approximately 600 students qualify for the Cayley round and Kira’s outstanding result means she is ranked in the top ten for the whole of the UK.

Kira now joins an elite maths mentoring programme for exceptionally talented students that is run by the UKMT to nurture, challenge and develop young mathematicians during their school career.

Heartfelt congratulations to Kira from the Maths Department and the rest of the school!


Purcell Double Bassist Wins Festival Prize

It was wonderful to hear earlier this week that Year 8 double bassist Lucas had triumphed in the recent Cambridge Competitive Music Festival, having been awarded the Tim Freebairn prize for winning the Cello/Double Bass Class 16 years and under. As part of the prize, Lucas was invited to perform at the festival’s concert which took place yesterday (25th April 2024).

Hugely well done to Lucas, who studies at Purcell under Cathy Elliott. We are delighted for you.


Purcell Pianist Wins First Prize at Festival

In more festival news, we are delighted that Year 8 pianist Gui has won First Prize in his Recital Class at the North London Music Festival.

Gui studies at Purcell under Florian Mitrea. Congratulations, Gui!


New Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion Announced

It was with great pleasure that on Thursday 25th April we announced the appointment of Mike Cavanagh as the new Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion, starting in September 2024.

Mike Cavanagh is a Professor of Baritone Horn and Tutor in Chamber Music at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). He is also Solo Baritone of the internationally celebrated Black Dyke Band, a member of the acclaimed chamber ensemble A4 Brass Quartet and a Performance Artist for Besson Musical Instruments.

Mike has shared with us the short video about his appointment:

The full press release is available here.

Concert Department Review

Last week, students Ruize, Jacqueline, Theadora, Emma, Antonia, Yu-Wei, Dianna, Ivan, Dominic, Goulwenna and Mina took part in two concerts – one at St Nicholas’ Church in Stevenage for Weston Music Society on Friday 19th April, and another for the Octagon Music Society at Clarendon Muse in Watford on Sunday 21st April. Both programmes included String Quartet No.7 by Shostakovich, ‘La Oración Del Torero’ by Joaquín Turina, and Mendelssohn’s Octet in Eb Major.

Wednesday evening (24th April) saw a concert performed by our Middle School students. We heard a varied range of music and instruments (piano, violin, French horn, cello and bassoon) and also a very enjoyable contribution from the Middle School Jazz Ensemble. Well done to Jack, Lilly, Chaeyu, Saule, Ruby, Mahla, Julianna, Otto, Seth, Lucas, Louis, Albert, Bettina, Anthony, Trevor and Sofiia for your performances.

On Friday 26th April, students Rebecca, Ella, Phoebe, Aaron and Birce travelled to Birmingham University to perform in a ‘Barber Lunchtime Concert’ in the Elgar Concert Hall. They played Mendelssohn’s Trio in D minor for violin, cello and piano, and Brahms’ Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello and piano. Congratulations to them for performing such a complex programme with maturity and flair.

This week saw our lunchtime concerts take place in the Recital Room, rather than the CP Hall. This brought a warmer atmosphere and more intimate experience for both the audience and the performers. All the concerts were well attended with a wide variety of music performed: from Mozart to Coleridge Taylor, string quartet to solo piano. We also very much enjoyed listening to and watching one of the A level students record their exam work. Well done to Pijus, Yifei, Cindy, Birce,Ella, Aaron, Antonia, Yu-Wei, Dianna, Ivan, Grace and Victor for their performances.

Sir Andrew Davis CBE

It was with great sadness that we announced earlier this week the passing of one of Britain’s greatest conductors and Purcell Patron Sir Andrew Davis CBE at the age of 80.

He is remembered with the fondest respect and admiration by all at Purcell. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Further information about Sir Andrew’s life and remarkable musical career are available here.


Forthcoming Events

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

Sunday 28 April – Radlett Music Club
Time: 3.00pm
Venue: Edge Grove School, Radlett, Watford WD25 8NL
Tickets: Free admission for young people. Non-member admission charge £18. Tickets available here.

Ravel Rapsodie espagnole
Pedro Iturralde Suite Hellénique
Katrina Keyek The Leap
Aaron Stewart Sonata in two parts
Debussy Petite Suite for Piano 4 Hands
Damase Quatre a quatre

Wednesday 1 May – Lower School Concert
Time: 7.00pm
Venue: CP Hall, The Purcell School
Tickets: Free admission. No booking required.

Join musicians from the Lower School as they perform a selection of solo and group pieces.

Tuesday 7 May – Lunchtime Concert at St Albans Cathedral
Time: 1.00pm
Venue: St Albans Cathedral
Tickets: Free admission. No booking required.

The St Albans Cathedral Music Trust presents a series of Lunchtime concerts at the Cathedral to both highlight the great work being done by students in the surrounding area and to inspire others.

Programme to include music by Bach, Humperdinck, Mozart, Faure, Gavin Whitlock and Pedro Iturralde.