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The Music Scholars' concert is traditionally the first major concert of the year, and on Sunday 6th October an audience assembled in the Thornely Studio to listen to an array of solo performances from this year's crop of musicians.
This concert is always particularly exciting for two reasons: not only do we have the opportunity to reflect on just how much progress our existing students have made since last year, but we also welcome a clutch of new musicians to the stage. With the school growing, we have welcomed more musicians than ever this year. Crucially, the level of musicianship from all of them has proved to be outstanding and it really helped to raise the bar for this year's concert.
Jasmine Pang (13, CH) opened the concert with a studious and very musical performance of the Prelude and Fugue in Bb from J.S Bach's 'Well tempered clavier'. This set the tone for the rest of the evening, as we were treated to performances from sixteen more soloists, all of whom not only demonstrated their musical ability, but also had a tremendous presence on stage. The programme was as follows:
Jasmine Pang (Piano, Year 13) Prelude and Fugue in Bb J.S. Bach
Laylah Scott (Voice, Year 11) I dreamed a dream Schoenberg/Boublil
Guy Hollins (Trombone, Year 10) Strike Up the Band Gershwin
Saskia Simpson (Flute, Year 13) Rondo from Andante Mozart
Toby Randall-Paley (Piano, Year 12) Sonata in C Minor Beethoven
Jeremy Cowen (Voice, Year 13) An Die Musik Schubert
Ottilie Bardsley (Piano, Year 9) Waltz in F Chopin
Amy Lewin (Voice, Year 9) Dalmation Cradle Song trad. arr. Roberton
Thomas Willock (Trumpet, Year 11) Song to the Moon Dvorak
Harry Bolton (Voice, Year 10) Der Lindenbaum Schubert
Ivan Gorriti (Violin, Year 11) Oblivion Piazolla
Marianne Yacoub (Piano, Year 12) Nocturne in F Major Field
Davis Yao (Voice, Year 13) Captain Stratton’s Fancy Warlock
Rose Arnold (Flute, Year 11) Canzone Barber
Alex Barker (Violin, Year 12) Romance Svendsen
Mollie Richmond (Voice, Year 11) I could have danced all night Rogers/Hammerstein
John Chen (Piano, Year 12) Prelude in C# Minor Rachmaninov
This term, the Sedbergh School Design department welcomed a new teacher, tutor and entrepreneur. Christine Davies talks here about her new role at the school and how Design pupils stand to benefit from both her manufacturing experience and industry knowledge and insight.
Before Christine came to Sedbergh she worked in a similar role as a designer in residence in the School of Jewellery based in Birmingham’s famed Jewellery Quarter. As part of that role she tutored HND Jewellery and silversmithing students in both technical projects and professional practice modules. What attracted her to the post at Sedbergh most of all was the fantastic jewellery department that has facilities that rival the university’s. She said: "It is also a relatively new option being given to pupils here, so it feels like a very exciting time to be joining the team. I'm looking forward to seeing what innovative and inspiring products our new lower sixth group produces. I am teaching some very exciting and technically challenging projects to years 9 and 10 and will have a tutorial role with years 11 and 12. I hope that the students will benefit not only from my manufacturing experience but also from my insight into the industry to do with branding, marketing and setting up a commercial enterprise."
Christine's workshop is situated beside the jewellery department; students will be able to see the day to day running of a business and watch a professional working. Christine says: "This should give them a very real insight into self-employment. I hope it will help them put the work that they make into the prospective of a commercially viable product. I also hope to give some professional practice presentations not just about jewellery but in a broader context of being a sole trader, in the hope that this could inspire some up and coming entrepreneurs."
"Within the industry there are many facets of specialisation, whether you focus on the design and developing side of the trade or become the manufacturer. To become a jewellery designer you use a set of skills that are incredibly transferable. I know of designers who went on to design for a shoe companies and one who went on to design products to aid children with special needs.
What is Christine looking forward to about teaching? "There is such a great buzz and excitement when a new student uses a tool for the first time, makes their first plain silver ring and sees that magic moment when it all comes together after all of the hard work they put into a project. I find that the more someone knows about a subject, the more informed they are about what isn’t possible, so there is no substitute for a new student of the subject who designs the impossible and makes it anyway.
"You have of course to start at the basics. A beginner needs to perfect not only their hand skills through practice but they must train their eyes to see the minute detail needed for jewellery. As a qualified jeweller I can safely say you never stop learning, whether it’s a new skill with a basic tool or using some of the amazing new technologies and cutting edge manufacturing techniques that have recently hit the industry –some of which this department has available to pupils."
Christine's links with The School of Jewellery in Birmingham are cause for excitement among pupils."It is a world renowned centre for jewellery education; the biggest training facility for jewellery in Europe. Potentially, the links could be very rewarding - be it through open dialogue, visiting speakers or the exchange of knowledge and resources."
Christine won the Goldsmiths precious metal bursary in 2011 and the British Jewellers Association Baxendale Award in 2009.
It was a cold, crisp and gloriously clear day in Sedbergh on Sunday for this autumn's Headmaster's Concert. With the school having gathered together that morning to remember the fallen, it was another large gathering that filled the Thornely Studio to capacity - two years to the day since the building was opened. They were treated to music of the very highest quality, with many saying afterwards that they would have happily paid £25 to have been at the concert.
James Horan was unable to play in the Scholars' Concert before half-term, but there were no signs of nerves as he opened proceedings with a performance of Bridge's Berceuse on the Steinway. Another Music Scholar, Alex Barker, had injured his finger at the end of last week and was unable to play violin in Sunday's concert. One of the items that he had been due to play in was a piano trio with Marianne Yacoub (piano) and Toby Randall-Paley (cello). Fortunately, our Head of Strings - Miss Baker - was able to step in at the last minute and complete the line-up for a performance of a trio by Mendelssohn (Op.49 No.1). This piece of music is incredibly demanding for the pianist in particular, and it is to the tremendous credit of these musicians that they produced a performance that was simply awesome. At the end of this eight minutes of breathtaking musicianship, their performance was met with passionate applause from a vocal audience.
The opening performances set the benchmark for subsequent pieces, and the audience proceeded to enjoy an hour of tremendous individual and ensemble pieces. The repertoire featured in the concert was often very demanding, but all the pupils were most measured. Toby Randall-Paley featured in no less than four of the sixteen items, whilst Mollie Richmond and Tom Willock showed why they are members of the National Youth Choir. Marianne Yacoub brought the concert to a close, playing her own composition on the piano.
Congratulations to all pupils who helped to produce a memorable concert. The full programme was as follows:
James HoranBerceuse Bridge Piano Trio - Marianne Yacoub, Toby Randall-Paley, Miss BakerOp. 49 No. I Mendelssohn Guy HollinsCavatine Saint-Saëns Rose Arnold Andante J.S. Bach Girls’ Concert ChoirWater of Tyne trad. Arr Neaum John ChenMvt I from Moonlight Sonata Beethoven Tom WillockStändchen Schubert Olivia RidsdaleAllegro Taffanel
Lucy PrestonCaro mio ben Giordani Piano Trio - Jasmine Pang, Ivan Gorriti, Toby Randall-PaleyTrio in G Minor Dvorak Chamber ChoirLay a garland Pearsall Charlotte FlemingNo. V from Kitchen Garden Suite Reade Violin DuoOp. 20 No. I Viotti Toby Randall-PaleyClair de Lune Debussy Mollie RichmondVedrai Carino Mozart Marianne YacoubNo more time Yacoub
It was the magnificent Pantheon shaped cake that caught the attention of so many teachers and sixth form at last Friday’s inaugural meeting of The School of Athens. Held on the newly refurbished top floor of the library, pupils and staff were invited to a lecture given by Roger Strachan on Raphael’s painting ‘The School of Athens’. Following generous helpings of cake, nibbles and drinks, Mrs Cox, along with Phoebe Hollings, introduced the evening. Roger proceeded to guide his audience through a rip rollicking tour of the Italian renaissance, beginning with some of Raphael’s earlier, more simplistic work in order to truly appreciate the monumental change in style of the later paintings. Roger posed three crucial questions: what were the messages Raphael aimed to convey, who were his key influences, and most importantly, why did he paint it. Leonardo Da Vinci was used as a comparison and influence on numerous occasions, and Roger impressed us with his abundant knowledge of the various figures in the painting. From Pythagoras to Socrates, all characters appear to point to two central men, Aristotle and Plato, who are illustrated steeped in deep discussion. It is exactly the frenetic buzz of interesting discussion in this painting that Roger found most intriguing. Thus the Society of The School of Athens aims to reflect this love for debate of the arts and the sciences amongst the sixth form.
Phoebe Hollings (R, U6)
On Friday 29th November tensions mounted in School House as the coveted Masterchef trophy was up for grabs again. We waved goodbye to Angus Brown and Bertram Tam in the Semi Final and welcomed Josef Westgarth, Charlie Stephenson and 2012 winner Tom Savage into Sharon's kitchen for the night.
The judges gathered at 19.30. The Headmaster, Mr and Mrs McVoy, Mr and Mrs Hattam, Mr Cooling, Sharon and Mr Hattam's Mum Lynne were eager to start the evening. Josef was first up with a Chicken Caesar Salad - it was crisp with a salty garnish of chicken and crispy bacon complementing it nicely. Homemade croutons and a tangy anchovy dressing with parmesan shavings topped it off. It was agreed that the anchovies were not distributed evenly in places and the dressing could have been dribbled more liberally but a very good effort. Next up was Charlie who made a Tuna Pasta Bake with beans and a salad garnish. It was well presented with a tangy flavour to perfectly cooked pasta given by some balsamic vinegar which was a surprising and welcome addition. There was then discussion around what makes a bake, the fact some judges preferred to sprinkle their own parmesan and some would have preferred a crunchy topping. Charlie chose this dish because he enjoys eating it at home. Mr Cooling would eat it up a mountain and Mr and Mrs McVoy for dinner. It was well executed but possibly too simple for a final dish. Finally last year's winner Tom cooked pudding to defend the title. He made a Dark Chocolate Fondant with Orange and Lime Ice Cream. He had made the ice cream in advance and it was a real show stopper. Tangy and reminiscent of a Terry's Chocolate Orange - where the idea for this course had come from. There were only two Fondants that had not collapsed when they reached the table - cue a long discussion about whether this had been an error - the taste made up for the presentation however and a small raspberry garnish gave rise to some debate, too. Everyone was in agreement that this dish had shown skill and thought however. We had cogitated, deliberated and digested - it was time for a winner. Tom Savage pipped the others at the post to claim the very well deserved title of Masterchef Winner 2013 and we look forward to next year to see if he can make it a hat-trick.
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