14 September 2023
Some of our musicians, drama and performing arts scholars have been very busy during the summer break, on stage, backstage and composing for the silver screen.
Music scholar Imani F, Year 11 (main photo), was selected as principal clarinet with the prestigious Chineke! Junior Orchestra, which is a sister ensemble to the Chineke! Orchestra, made up of majority Black and ethnically diverse musicians aged 11-22. Imani played a concert with the orchestra at Fairfield Halls, Croydon at the end of August, following an intensive musical week the orchestra spent together rehearsing, as well as receiving individual tuition from members of the senior orchestra.
Fellow Year 11 Norien S, who, like Imani, is studying music at GCSE has been hard at work composing music for a film that will hopefully feature in the British Film Festival. An exciting commission, which we look forward to hearing more about in the future.
Drama and performing arts scholars have also enjoyed the fabulous experience of performing with the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) over the summer (see photos in gallery below) and learning backstage crafts with the National Youth Theatre.
Alex A-S, Year 11, played Ibiza Nana (“an absolute audience favourite” - eastmidlandstheatre.com) in the world premiere of The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair at the Curve Studio, Leicester. As well as “lighting up the stage” (katiereviews.co.uk), Alex had the wonderful experience of working with experienced professionals from the world of musical theatre, including Director Hannah Chissick, Choreographer Steve Kirkham and Musical Director Lewis Bell.
Year 8 students Maya T and Sophia T loved every minute of their experience with the NYMT:
“Following a weeklong course in the Easter holidays, where we joined around 40 other performers from across the country to learn and practise a variety of musical theatre songs and dances, we all met up again in the summer holidays to rehearse for two fantastic performances of “When I Grow Up”, one at the Rose Theatre, Kingston and the other at Southwark Playhouse in London. It was an incredible experience. To be on stage with such amazing performers taught us so much and we made some great friends, who we hope to perform with again in the future.
Our favourite performance was our first show at the Rose Theatre. We were all nervous, but the lighting and live orchestra were amazing, and it was so cool to have a full house! It was exciting to be able to invite our family along and all four of our grandparents were able to come and watch us, which made us really happy. We loved every minute and definitely want to do it all again next year.”
Lower Sixth drama scholar Anna M immersed herself backstage, studying sound design and composition on a two-week residential course run by the National Youth Theatre.
“I learnt how to use programs employed by industry professionals and how to set up equipment for live performances. At the end of the course, we created an interactive walk-through experience inspired by decades in history. I worked alongside members from the other disciplines of backstage theatre, such as lighting and costume design, to create the final piece on the theme of 1970s horror movies. I also performed in a Britpop music festival section, playing electric guitar in a band. It was great to meet others with the same interests as me and to work alongside professionals from the industry.”