BCGS @ The Canterbury Festival
The year started with a bang in the music department as 20 students from Y8, 10, 12 and 13 were invited to take part in a samba workshop, in preparation or the Canterbury Festival Opening Parade on 14th October. This was run by professional samba musicians Kinetika Bloco. Students were taught about the various drums within the ensemble and learnt two pieces.
The parade was an excellent opportunity for students to show case their skills and we caused quite a stir in the high street (in full costume!).
A more formal event took place later in the Festival season, with our Canterbury Festival lunchtime concert in the Speigaltent in November. This featured soloists and ensembles from all year groups and was well attended by members of the public. Highlights of the concert included Yamato Kinoshita (piano) playing Tarentella, Mia Cray (voice) gave an emotive performance of ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here’ and Anna Long (voice) sang a highly polished version of the jazz standard ‘Black Coffee’. We would like to thank the Canterbury Festival for the opportunities and hope to work with them again next year.
GCSE recital concert
At the end of Term 1, Y11 students participated in a recital concert, in order to prepare them for their final portfolio. This informal event was well attended by staff and parents and gave these KS4 musicians the opportunity to shine. This is a yearly event which is open to all.
Term 2 is always busy for the music department, as students and staff are involved in several high profile events.
Y7 Interhouse competition
At the end of November, 25 students from Y7 were invited to take part in a music Interhouse competition. Their task was to write a song based around the theme of Christmas. The students really threw themselves into the task and were able to come up with complete pieces in the time given. The winning submission was from 7G (although it was a difficult choice) and students performed their song to the year group at the end of the day.
The Barton Court Choir expanded it’s charitable work this year and was invited to perform at the Pilgrim’s Hospice Tree of Love ceremony. This public event was attended by over 200 people and culminated in relatives hanging messages of love and hope on a brightly lit Christmas tree, in memory of their loved ones. The choir led the congregation in some traditional carols, as well as showcasing their repertoire for the upcoming carol service in Canterbury Cathedral. We felt privileged to be involved in this event and hope to be invited back next year.
The choir also shared their talents with the general public through some charity busking in Canterbury City Centre. We caused quite a stir and were thrilled to raise over £90 in one hour for our school charities.
Barton Court’s annual carol service took place in Canterbury Cathedral in December. This is a highlight of the music department’s calendar and featured students from all year groups performing in the Orchestra, Clarinet and Saxophone Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble and Choir. A mix of secular and sacred repertoire made the service accessible for all and the quality of the performances was exceptionally high.
The department finished the year with its annual Winter Concert, with the department ensembles again showcasing their skills, as well as a selection of solo and group performances from across the school. This event was well supported by students, staff and parents and has become a highlight of the school calendar.
Spring 2018 update:
After the hectic Christmas period the music department began preparing for a series of Spring events.
January saw the advent of our first annual piano concert, which contained performances from students in Y9-Y13 from both Barton Court and The Charles Dickens Academy. For some of the participating students this was their first ever public performance, but they overcame their nerves and performed with confidence. We hope this will be the first of many joint performances between our two schools.
Talented pianists from Y11-Y13 had the privilege of attending a masterclass at the Steinway School in London in March. Two students were selected to undertake a masterclass with an internationally renowned pianist, which provided them with invaluable advice and experience. The day finished with a full tour of the Steinway School and students were able to play on pianos that had been used in the BBC Proms and witnessed the spectacle of a self-playing piano. We hope to return to the Steinway School next year.
Y5 Gifted and Talented Workshop
20 students from local primary schools attended a workshop hosted by the music department in March. This contained many practical activities which showcased the students’ instrumental and vocal skills. The one hour workshop culminated in a whole class performance of Tequila and Ms Fenn was very impressed by the standard of musicianship, particularly from the violinists and cellists that attended. We look forward to running a similar workshop next year.
Barton Court Young Musician of the Year and Spring Concert
Another big event on the school calendar, was BCGS Young Musician of the Year, which saw talented students from Y7 and Y8 compete against each other. There were some outstanding performances and we were pleased to be able to award first place to Alice Smith (voice), second place to Max Hiney (drums) and third place to Beth Rogers (recorder). The second half of the concert began with the choir’s rousing rendition of ‘One’ from a Chorus Line and also featured performances from soloists and ensemble representing all year groups. It was also the final concert for our Y13 students and we wish them well in their future musical studies.
Music Department July 2018 update:
Term 5 began with the Y13 performance recital. This was an examined component of the A level course and our students performed to an appreciative audience. Some exceptional work was presented, with Rebekah Kennett showcasing her classical singing skills and Freya Stephenson giving a spirited performance of ‘The Worst Pies in London’ from Sweeny Todd. The department is thrilled that both students are going on to study music and performing arts next year.
Go go go Joe!
During Term 4, 5 and 6 the department was focused on preparing for the annual school production. This year’s show is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and involves students in all year groups, both on and off stage. Ms Wild and Ms Fenn have worked tirelessly to put the show together and have been impressed by the commitment of all students, some of whom have never performed on stage before. The performances of the musical have been outstanding, with all audience members praising the creativity and professionalism of the students, as well as the quality of the music and acting.