It has been a very busy year for our music students branching out into new projects both in and out of school.
We started off the year with open evenings on both sites, with a demonstration in each music department. This year prospective students were shown African drumming at Newcastle Academy and Samba drumming at Clayton Hall Academy, with soloists performing in the Bistro supported by our peripatetic team, who are on hand to answer any questions at both sites.
We have a new set of peripatetic teachers who now work on both sites they are:
Mr Bowler – keyboard/piano
Mrs Gibson – woodwind
Mrs Cowdy – violin/Viola
Mrs Thomas-Nash – Cello
Mrs Farr and Mrs Howell – singing
Ms Cox – Guitar
Mr Docksey – drums
The year follows with presentation evenings and as always, I am impressed with the dedication of our musicians. Brooke Jones and Jaime Leigh Hall performed stunning performances and took our breath away at the Newcastle Academy awards evening whilst the guitarists Isaak Fairclough and Ambrose Morris performed amazingly with such flair transporting us to a jazz bar at Clayton Hall Academy.
Towards Christmas, we started with our ‘Adeste Fidelius’ concert, when the federation orchestra and guitar club performed for the first time with the federation choir and soloists from both schools. As always, the students were amazing with the highlights being:
Farrell Glass playing ‘Air’ by John Blow on cello – he showed so much confidence.
Wiktoria Kotynska singing ‘half the world away’ – lots of feeling and passion in her performance
Federation Orchestra playing ‘Water music’ by Handel – with great dynamics towards the end and timing for a first performance.
Michael Larg – ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ – a precise and confident performance from a very young violinist.
Everyone including the audience joined in to ‘So here it is Merry Christmas’ by Slade and left on a wonderful high note for Christmas.
Then a group of ten federation choir students agreed to perform at the Stoke Christmas football game prior to kick off. The students sang their hearts and souls out in the freezing cold on the 17th December to an excited team arriving for the game.
After Christmas Clayton Hall Academy held their show ‘Bugsy Malone’. The students were amazing, giving up their own time for rehearsals. Local musicians and the peripatetic team gave up their time to volunteer as a live orchestra and our wonderful sound engineer Johnny Milton also supports all our events. A wonderful family show was enjoyed by many people over two nights with one primary school matinee.
This year the first cohort of music students entered GCSE Music and not BTEC. The students worked extremely hard in preparing their performances and should be proud of their achievements. We wish them all the best for the future and good luck for results day.
At Clayton Hall Academy Year 9 and 10 students led the way with an open mic session to raise money for the Anti Bullying campaign. The students performed various songs outside the Bistro to win the crowd around with a wonderful relaxed atmosphere.
This term Oakhill Primary School invited the music department to perform at their Summer Fair. As always musicians from all year groups across both academies volunteered their expertise from cello solos, to violin solos, guitar duets, and our new Year 9 addition, the Samba band and ensembles. The students were fabulous performers and fantastic ambassadors for both schools.
This led to a Samba workshop being offered to our feeder primary schools. The Willows Primary Year 4 took up the challenge and Clayton Hall Year 9 musicians taught Year 4 a samba piece in one hour. They performed at the end showing care and demonstrating technique to the primary students and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their time working together.
Finally to round the year off with a bang the Creative Arts Faculty at Clayton are finishing with an Arts Festival – the music department are holding another successful open mic in the hall at lunchtimes Thanks go to all the students from Years 7-10 who offered to perform at this event.
Congratulations must also go to all the students who have taken instrumental music examinations this year and achieved fantastic grades.
If any other student would like to learn an instrument, please complete an application form and return to Mrs Thomas-Nash at either school before the start of next academic year.
On this note, we are desperately looking for unwanted instruments. If you have any lonely instruments stuck up in the loft collecting dust, and would not mind donating them to the Trust we would be most grateful. Please contact Rachael.Thomas-Nash@snfederation.co.uk and I will give them a good home.
Please look out for all the music events advertised on our website next term, there will be more shows and concerts to enjoy. Mrs Thomas-Nash