Displaying items by tag: Performing Arts
With storms Ciara and Dennis hitting the UK’s coastlines this week, it seemed quite fitting that the Grove Independent School had their own dramatic whirlwind in the school hall. The Junior Prep pupils of Yew, Aspen, Hawthorn and Poplar have been singing, dancing and acting their socks off in rehearsals for The Tempest. Their passion for this piece was clearly shown through two magnificent performances on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. With such a challenging piece of theatre to tackle, the pupils approached it with a huge amount of focus, energy and maturity. The audience were captivated from the moment the lights dimmed. The audience were led expertly into the plot line by Autumn Pim as Ariel; who introduced us to all the characters and her own struggles with being a servant to Prospero, the island’s ruler. Prospero, played by Jacob Millburn, summons up not only a mighty storm but a mighty performance. Emily Foster delivers a beautifully articulate and passionate performance as Miranda and light relief is provided superbly by the comedy (drunken) duo of Stephano and Trinculo (Tabitha Simpkins and Lacey Weatherley). Further appreciation goes to Jeremy Berkin who embodied the role of Caliban (the island slave) and jumped feet first into the role (with tap shoes on!) heading up “I'm A Miserable Monster.” From gruesome Goblins and elegant Sprites, to our brilliant year 3 pupils - who provided vocals and dancing throughout; everyone had their part to play in telling this story of power, revenge, justice and compassion. Moments of highlights were had when the full company all sang together for “The Time Has Come” and the closing number of “It’s Over Now”. Huge well done to all involved!
Many thanks and appreciation to all that made this production another success for The Grove Independent School.
Chiemenem Iwuagwu’s piano piece ‘Whirling Leaves’ was so gorgeous. Her pedal work made it sound very atmospheric as she listened carefully to the simple repeated rhythms of her left hand and the ringing patterns in her right. Kiaan Fesharaki’s clever touch brought out the light character of his piece ‘Waltz’ by Kabalevsky with some excellent staccato playing that was delicate too; very tricky to do. We wanted more!
Dimitri Korontzis was so proud to play ‘Star Wars’ on the piano for us. I know he has been desperate to perform this famous piece for a while now; it went very well! What was good was the poem ‘Star Trip’ came just before setting the scene perfectly. Chikamso Iwuagwu was so expressive when performing this that I wanted to join her on the journey to a planet not very far away.....!
Emma Bird and Eleanor Tichivangana should have performed their poem ‘Our Club’ for the Strictly Come Dancing judges there was so much ‘arm-ography’ going on. They would have scored 10, 10,10,10 and Amogh Mathur certainly made me feel ‘glad to be alive’ as he recited ‘Gran’s XI’, a poem I’ve not heard before. It was very funny!
Daniel Nunez and Kyle Dissanayake did so well with their conversational piece ‘Goal’ by Ellen Weeks. They kept the drama of their situation going brilliantly and had us really believing that horrid Mr Mortimer’s dog was actually going to come and get them!
Isabella McCall was unusually the only vocalist today. Her beautiful voice filled the hall and we were treated to a ‘Ride on a Rainbow’ to remember for a long time to come.
All the performers can be very proud of their lovely sense of pride in their work and their wonderful listening skills as they politely enjoyed their friend’s performances. Everyone took care to bow for their audience and being ready when it was their turn was a noticeable feature of this delightful concert. Pupils who take part in these lunchtime concerts work very hard on their chosen pieces and understand what it is like to take the stage, so they are very respectful of others as they do the same.
Well done everyone, I can’t wait for our next concert on December 12th
This thoroughly enjoyable concert got off to an excellent start; Harini Sivavakeesar played the evocative piece by W. Gillock called ‘Holiday in Paris’. Straight away we were transported to the streets of Paris. Harinin’s musical performance brought out all the colours, with pauses, dramatic tension and accents that made the music come to life. What a delight!
Victoria Diniz played her piano piece for us too. ‘The Mouse’ was actually in the room…! We could hear it tiptoeing so quietly. Well done. Anvi Mulik brought us a ‘Rocking Horse’ to ride. I loved this because it was very gentle, almost like a lullaby, just what we all needed at the end of a busy half term. Eleanor Tichivangana played ‘Old MacDonald’ with great character. It was beautifully in time and so lively and confident that we could have easily sung along.
The Speech and Drama moments were excellent too. Autumn Pim was very persuasive when sharing her thoughts ‘Pets’. I don’t know how your parents have managed to keep your household free of them up to now! Autumn’s words were so clear and she brought her audience in to every moment, using her eyes and facial expressions brilliantly.
Lacey Weatherley’s performance was very funny and very cheeky; she definately persuaded us all that she had ‘Tried to do (her) my homework’. Lola Grant’s poem ‘There Isn’t Time’ was so clear and she performed it with lots of expression too.
Erioluwa Ojemuyiwa’s presentation really helped us to understand why she loves reading the Sherlock Holmes Solve-it–Yourself Mysteries. She gave us lots of detailed description in a confident performance. Frederick Lancaster’s ‘The Golf Lesson’ was fantastic, he was managed to make us believe that he actually had a golf club in his hands, I loved the space he gave to each part of his talk, we were all able to join in and understand everything he said because of this.
Quite a few of the children in this concert hadn’t performed before; Oliver Surley being one of them. You wouldn’t have known it; he confidently played his saxophone piece ‘Jazz music for Beetles’ with a great sound and sense of purpose. It was a wonderful finish to another wonderful concert.
Well done everyone, you can be very proud of yourselves. Keep practising.
It was good to be part of the first lunchtime concert of this academic year. We were treated to some delightful performances that made us very proud of our young musicians and drama students.
I will mention a handful here if I may. Isabella McCall played a very mysterious piano piece called ‘The Haunted Mouse’, she managed to invoke an atmosphere straight away with a careful touch. The last note was the lowest note on the piano – you don’t often get to play that note in a piece!
Emily Foster sang ‘Edelweiss’ from the Sound of Music. She sang with such ‘line’, a glorious tone and clear words. It isn’t easy to sing with a beautiful legato line; you have to know how to breath properly.
Eva Pillai and Jude Cronin-Webb were brilliant as they clearly delivered their speech and drama poems with confidence and a smile. Jude’s was ‘My Hat’ and Eva’s ‘My Puppy’. Taran Mehat’s ‘Mix A Pancake’ was a really joyful performance with an extra helping of expression!
Aron Sonander played ‘Train Ride’ on the piano with a lovely balance between his left and right hand and Giovanna Opoku showed us how well her tonguing is coming on in her flute solo ‘Lazy Sunday’.
Well done everyone, you are all obviously practising hard, keep it up!
A small group of pupils from The Grove were invited to the Killer Keys event at Stowe school on Thursday. The day was run by Ben Andrew, the Head of Keyboard studies. The day started with a joint rehearsal with pupils from other schools and some Stowe students. They worked on two pieces that Ben had arranged for piano ensemble. It was an unusual experience hearing 7 pianos being played by 20 pupils at the same time. We were treated to a demonstration of the magnificent pipe organ in the Stowe Chapel by Jonathan Kingston. To get to the organ loft we had to climb the steps going through the instrument, passing some of the nearly 4000 pipes.
After lunch we went to a lunchtime concert in the magnificent state music room. Featuring some of the Stowe musicians playing piano, flute and oboe. Ben then led a masterclass, working through individual pieces with a number of pupils. Emily Garwood played Nocturne in F sharp minor by Fredrik Chopin. This was a truly moving performance in the stunning setting of the State Music room. Gaia Mesonero-Perez played Walt in A by Carl Maria Von Weber. A very confident performance, with great dynamic contrasts. Ben encouraged her to play in a more dance-like manner. This gave the performance a stylistic lift. Damilola Omotosho played Polish Song by Ferdinand Hiller. Ben credited him for preparing the piece well, ready for his forthcoming examination. He worked on projecting the right hand a little more to good effect. The concert for parents included solo performances by some of the students, the ensemble pieces that they worked on during the day, and a very interesting joint improvisation piece that they put together during the day.
A great experience for all involved.
In this May’s concert the tables were turned!
Instead of the musical items sprinkled through with a few Speech and Drama performances the opposite was true. Many of the children had their LAMDA exams this weekend and were able to show off their favourite poems before the day. Twenty Speech & Drama pupils brought their best to the party so to speak, so it will be impossible to mention all of them.
We loved the slobbering, belching alien that Kiaan Fesharaki invited, Eleanor Yeoman’s vulture was a lot of fun and Patrick Kingsman’s Big Fat Budgie was very lazy! Their performances were engaging and full of imagination.
Giovanna Opoku, Siya Patel and Elisa Illingworth won our hearts with their very expressive and dramatic performances. Their poems were ‘Ballet Lesson’, ‘The Falling Star’ and ‘Shadow Collector’ respectively.
The musical offerings were equally enjoyable. Vera Padhiar played her cello confidently for the first time in a concert, Lillian Goodman’s ‘Dinosaur’s Bedtime March’ was so well played that I felt sure there was a sleepy dino in the hall with us and Oyindamola Omotosho played the left hand tune in her piano piece ‘Mysterious Procession’ very clearly.
A big thank you goes to all forty children who took part and performed so well.
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
On Thursday 5th October we held our first lunchtime concert of the year. We were treated to a wide range of performance from our students having Music and Speech and Drama Lessons.
The concert started with Alice Alder playing a lovely little piano piece called Hair. Freddie Lancaster followed this with The Bugle Boys, again on the piano. Shaan Sanghera then had us on the edge of our seats with his recital of Stripey Tiger.
Greer McCaffrey’s lovely performance of the Potato Song on the piano was followed by 2 Spanish pieces. Ife Adekanmbi played a Spanish Dance on her guitar and Alexander Chan played Spanish Cabellero on the piano.
A trio of boys (Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio, Daniel Nunez Montanola and Kyle Dissanayake) raised a laugh from the audience with their rendition of ‘Yuck’ followed by a delightful performance of Feed the Birds’ by Barnaby Davison.
Patrick Kinsman picked up the pace of things with The Juggler on the piano, followed by Katie’s Waltz on the violin by Eleanor Yeomans. Iraa Kulkarni then treated us to a stylish Allegretto on the piano.
Ewa Adekanmbi played Song of the mountain on her guitar before Bhavish Rao scared a few of us with his poem about a Tarantula. Kylie Dissanayake was next on the piano with The Farmer followed by Oyin Omotosho with Bluebird.
We were taken back in time by Harini Sivavakeesar with a lovely version of the song Good Morrow. This was followed by Anvi Mulik in her first lunchtime concert, playing Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano.
Next on the piano was Abigail Evans with Airplanes followed by Jacob Okwuadigbo reciting the Sock Song. Thomas Huggins gave a wonderful performance of a Theme and Variations on his guitar before Lilian Goodman scared us all at the piano with Monster!
Daniel Jemeljanenko gave a very expressive recital of the Cat’s Protection League and Sophia Shaikh delivered an eloquent performance of the World’s Worst Children.
Hana Iguchi showed us her skills on the piano with a tricky piece called clowns and the concert was brought to a close by Iraa Kulkarni who gave a very dramatic performance of Where My Wellies Take Me.
A wonderful concert, I an already looking forward to the next one.
The twenty-five children performing in our June lunchtime concert gave us so much to feast our ears and eyes upon. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
The cheeky chaps in Beech and Holly didn’t let us down with their speech and drama renditions, Jacob Okwaudigbo. Matthew Coomber, Dimitri Korontzis, Freddie Lancaster and Arjun Sohal told their funny tales of cats, lost socks, tastes and pancakes. Zayne Quinton joined in with his concert debut piano piece ‘Yankee Doodle’ that he managed to play so quickly that he didn’t even have time to sit on the piano stool!
Maanika Phul confidently played ‘Little John’ a clarinet piece. This was the first time she’d played in a concert. It’s good to see some younger pupils taking up different instruments. We need more to play brass and woodwind instruments so that we can have a Grove School orchestra.
David Ogundeji gave a beautifully rhythmical performance of his piano piece ‘Russian Song’ and Ife Adekanmbi made a lovely sound on her guitar as she played ‘Song of the Mountian’. Elise Reeson played her gentle piano piece ‘Bluebird’ peacefully and Sheyan Kothari’s ‘Elephant’s Waltz was counted very carefully.
It’s been very encouraging to see our young musicians and drama students making so much progress throughout the year. Don’t forget to keep playing over the summer holidays everyone. Your teachers will be so amazed in your first lessons in September when you can play them a beautiful piece. They will think it’s Christmas already!