School music success

- 12 March 2021 -

Musical brothers, Noah in Year 9 and Isaac in Year 7 have recently been revelling in the joy of receiving their Blue Peter Music Badges, alongside younger sister, Clara.

Whilst concerts and festivals have become virtual and streamed over the last year, such as the School’s Music for A Summer’s Evening, Soloists’ Concert and upcoming Scholars’ Concert, nothing beats the sound of live music, and so the trio treated their parents to their own in-house live performance, that was also enjoyed by extended family using the technology that we have become so familiar with.

“To achieve the Blue Peter badge my brother, sister and I created a Christmas concert for my family. As most of them are in Barcelona, and we sadly haven’t been able to see them for a year due to lockdown, we broadcast the concert live for them.” Commented Music scholar, Noah.

He continued “We performed solos, duets and a trio and we even managed to make a programme for who was playing and when in the running order. We all dressed up and took photographs that we provided as supporting evidence to achieve the accolade of a Blue Peter badge.”

Mum, Katy, enthused “My husband and I were lucky enough to be serenaded on Christmas Eve by our own R-G Live concert! Thank you to all the Music department for your encouragement and we look forward to getting back to the wonderful music and smiles at the Park soon.”

Noah, Isaac and Clara have long been keen musicians, playing the trumpet, guitar, clarinet and saxophone between themselves. Since joining Leighton Park in September 2019, Isaac has followed in his brother’s footsteps, immersing himself in the opportunities and experiences offered by the Music department.

Isaac reflected “Music at Leighton Park is an unmissable experience you won’t regret with different concerts and performances each term. There are so many different ways in which to take part. There is the school Orchestra, Fryer Voices, Senior Choir, Fryer Jazz and Year 9 to Sixth Form Jazz. There are also many different bands run by school pupils and soloists.

With Covid, our music teachers have been working hard to adapt and run online music lessons for us, we have been able to record and send in a video of ourselves playing music. They have also created concerts that would have otherwise been impossible. Every week there are remote rehearsals where we can see our friends and practise together.

Clara, Noah and Isaac enjoying their school music lessons from home

Just recently there was a music workshop on how to write music and I found it interesting and useful and I was inspired to compose a song for my Dad’s birthday. I am hoping to achieve my Grade 3 remotely this term. I am very excited that my little sister is taking Grade 3 saxophone and look forward to her joining my brother and I, so we can all play together at Leighton Park.”

Echoing his brother, Noah commented “I love doing music at Leighton Park, from hobbies to concerts, they do it all. Also depending on what instrument you play, you can join different bands. I am Grade 6 trumpet and Grade 3 guitar and am in the brass band, jazz band and orchestra. Stuart [Henderson, Head of Jazz], Rose [Rosemary Scales, Director of Music] and the music department have worked hard to keep things going during lockdown. Despite restrictions, Jamie [Howell, Music Instrumental] helped me to achieve my Grade 3 guitar by entering me remotely.”

Fellow Year 9 Music scholar, Francesco, who recently achieved first place in his category at the Sutton Music Festival Virtual Concert, has also had cause to celebrate in lockdown. And his outstanding performances of Accolay Concerto and Hungarian Dance by Brahms, were no mean feat against a group of competitors, aged 16 and over.

“The opening Brahmms has a fully focused and arresting musical sound […] There was accuracy in the intonation, and imaginative dynamic contrast. A polished and spirited account.” applauded Adjudicator, Douglas Blew.

Last weekend, Francesco also performed in the Coulsdon and Purley Festival, playing Tambourin by Gossec and achieved second place. He now looks forward to participating in the semi-finals of the annual Berkshire Young Musician of the Year string competition, that is to take place on Sunday 21st March.

“I hope the semi-finals will take place live or via Zoom, but even if it doesn’t and I have to record the pieces, I will try to do my best. I know I am very lucky to have a piano accompanist  (my mother!), a film director (my father!), an advisor (my sister!) always available for me at home and the support from Sue [Black], my Violin Teacher at Leighton Park,” Francesco said.

“In this difficult period, we all found company and satisfaction in the beauty of music,” his parents added.

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violin on sheet music