The summer term has seen the Performing Arts Centre in full use for the first time since September, with rehearsals for both the summer concert and Year 8 production taking place, along with a number of informal concerts and, of course, the Inter-Patrol Music Competition.
Pupils from each year group have had the opportunity to perform in an Informal Concert, with Year 7 kicking things off back in May. Highlights have included Xander (Y3) on the flute performing La Donna Mobile, Alice (Y7) with Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach on the oboe, Jay (Y4) with Gold Lion on the drums, Ben (Y5) on the trumpet with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4, and Joe (Y6) on the tuba with Lionel Bart’s Pick a Pocket. These concerts have provided a valuable opportunity for those who have been working hard on their instruments to perform to their peers, and to their parents via the video links.
Individual Music Lessons
Remote instrumental lessons continued during the Easter term lockdown, and so we were pleased to have two exam sessions this term, with many pupils doing themselves proud despite the difficulties they’ve faced this year. Particular congratulations go to the following pupils, who all achieved Distinctions:
George, Initial Grade - Trumpet
Casimir, Drums - Grade 1
Sarah, Viola - Grade 1
James, Piano - Grade 1
Rohan, Drums - Grade 2
William, Treble Recorder - Grade 3
Inter-Patrol Music Competition
This year’s Inter-Patrol Music Competition was a great success, despite running slightly differently to normal with the children remaining in their year group bubbles and competing in mixed instrumental and singing classes. We welcomed as adjudicators former member of staff Paul Wingfield (now Head of Vocal and Opera studies at Birmingham Conservatoire), Molly Noon (soprano with internationally-renowned group Voces8), and Jason Marconi (Head of Music at Dorset House School).
Music rang out from various venues across the school during the day, with many memorable performances. The day culminated with the much-anticipated Open Class for advanced musicians, with performances including Daisy (flute) playing Gossec’s Tambourin, Angel (piano) with Heller’s Study Op.47 No.15, and Annabelle singing Homeward Bound. The winner of this class, and the title of Westbourne Musician of the Year, was Amelie (clarinet) who gave a powerful performance of Finzi’s Prelude.
Leavers' Service and Little Shop of Horrors
It was wonderful that the Leavers’ Service could take place this year, albeit scaled back. The Year 8 choristers did a fine job with performances of Goodall’s Love Divine and Rutter’s The Lord bless you and keep you in their final outing as members of the Chapel Choir.
This was closely followed by their musical Little Shop of Horrors, which was put together from scratch in the two weeks after their exams. Again, it was wonderful to see and hear the Performing Arts Centre come alive with intensive rehearsals for this brilliant show, culminating in three performances to ensure social-distancing guidelines were met. We now look ahead to September when Year 7 will begin rehearsing Hairspray, postponed from 2020.
We had hoped that this year’s Summer School Concert would be a live event, but, with restrictions being extended, sadly this was not to be. Instead, the last couple of weeks of term was spent recording all of the performances whist maintaining the integrity of the year group bubbles. The Chapel Choir performed two old favourites - Heal the World by Michael Jackson and The Rhythm of Life by Cy Colman, whilst the Orchestra (who only came together for the final recording, having rehearsed in year groups all term) performed two Gershwin numbers - Strike up the Band, and I got plenty o’nuttin’. There were items from the Year 6 and Year 7 Brass Groups, Year 7 String Quartet, Year 6 Percussion Groups - including a Glockenspiel Trio with Mr Berkley’s arrangement of Strictly Come Dancing, the Rock Band with Starlight by Muse, a Year 4 Trio with Adam Carse’s Rondino, and the whole of Years 3 and 4 recording a medley of songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in class, brought together by the wonders of technology! Year 5 gave a performance of Gospel Train by Peter Skellern, whilst the Year 8 choristers sang a poignant rendition of Chilcott’s Remember Me. There were also impressive solos by Daisy (flute) and our Music Competition winner Amelie (clarinet). A huge well done to everyone involved.