Our Senior Choir felt very excited to be going to Stowe even though unusually they hadn’t had much time to learn the music before going. Instead they, together with the other two choirs that took part, were able to work on the notes during the rehearsals and by the end of the day could confidently sing ‘America’ by Bernstein, ‘Rhythm of Life’ by Coleman as part of a workshop/concert and a three classical choral works that were sung in a simple service of Compline in the Stowe Chapel.
The girls had a wonderful day and were complimented often on the beautiful sound they made as they were asked to sing various parts on their own.
Once again we were looked after so well by the wonderful music department who always seem thrilled to see us and treat us to lots of lunch, tea and snacks! Oh and a stunning concert given by three Stowics; a singer song writer in year 9, a tenor soloist in year 12 and a girl in year 13 who sang a song from a musical. They were outstanding!
I felt very proud of our pupils who seemed to easily cope with the intense rehearsal and who remained so well behaved and full of life throughout this glorious spring day of music making.
Our trip to the ISA music festival was superb. Several independent schools, making up a total of around 200 children, gathered in the Union Chapel, Islington, to undertake a rehearsal and concert comprising of Vivaldi’s Gloria and Quoniam Tu Solus Sanctus, followed by nine songs, set to the poems of Enid Blyton. Both adults and children alike felt privileged to be conducted by the composer himself, Scott Stroman, who’s varied and intricate score had been prepared with children as his intended musicians. The vast choir, the participants of which ranged in age from 7 to 13 years old, was accompanied by a live band. The children were well-engaged from the outset, thanks to Scott’s clarity of explanation, copious offerings of funny moments and opportunities for us to make silly noises!
More important than any recount I could give, is the children’s recollection of the day. They have expressed how wonderful the whole experience was, in the form of ‘thank you’ letters, to Scott and his band.
‘Thank you for helping us to practise our Enid Blyton songs… as well as sharing with us the reason for writing all the songs’
Giovanna Opoku, Yew
‘It was really good to finally meet a real conductor and someone who writes songs. It felt like all of us were one big choir!’
Ewaoluwa Adekanmbi, Yew
‘My favourite song was ‘Bonfire Night’. I liked the way that it was non-stop’
Barnaby Davison, Aspen
‘Thank you Scott, for helping us to sing better. We promise we will use those exercises (pinky promise)!’
Oluwadabira Filani, Aspen
‘I loved all the passion that you taught us how to show when we are singing. It was amazing what we could do with our voices. You’ve taken my singing to the next level. You were very inspiring’
Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi, Aspen
‘I loved how you made everybody laugh and the crazy words too!’
Minnah Elakama, Aspen
‘You not only taught us to sing beautifully but you also showed me that it is not just about how high we sing, but also about the quality when we are singing’
Oyin Omotosho, Yew
‘I thought you and your band were fantastic, brilliant and magical. I was confident in myself and believed in myself and my school choir. I liked working with my school friends, we so wanted to make Mrs Berkin proud’
Toby Coles, Yew
‘My favourite song was ‘Frosty Morning’, it really warms your heart! It made me feel peaceful and happy! I am sure Enid Blyton would be very proud if she could hear us singing, don’t you think? Also, I should probably tell you that you are a great conductor and, most importantly, a funny person! You made us enjoy the festival even more!’
Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio, Yew
So, there we have it, a fantastic day enjoyed by all!
Mrs Hodges and Mrs Ramsay
Twelve of our Prep students were invited to attend a lunchtime concert given by the Open University choir on Thursday this week.
The programme included a specially commissioned piece to commemorate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday – A New Kind of Urban. The composer, Liz Lane, and the lyricist, Judi Moore were at the concert along with Mayor of Milton Keynes.
There were also some much older pieces in the programme, including a piece by Monteverdi who would be celebrating his 450th birthday this year.
The children enjoyed the concert and wanted to share their thoughts:
‘It was a privilege to go to the Open University because the music was inspiring.’ (Maya)
‘The brass was very good and had loud and soft parts.’ (Rohit)
‘The Open University made a brass ensemble and a choir to celebrate 50 years of Milton Keynes, it was very good.’ (Henry)
‘I found it really interesting to listen to a piece about where I live.’ (Damilola)
‘I really enjoyed the older piece by Monteverdi.’ (Alexander)
‘The brass instruments were awesome’ (Emily)
‘I liked the world premiere of ‘A New Kind of Urban’ because the music took you on a journey through MK.’ (Emily)
‘I loved the brass section and the choir, don’t forget the organ!’ (Carolina)
‘My favourite parts were the trombones and the drums.’ (Ryan)