The Perse School

Music news round-up

14 Dec 2015

On Thursday evening, in a packed St. John’s College Chapel, pupils rounded off a busy Michaelmas term in festive style with our 400th anniversary carol service. Featuring the combined voices of Senior Chorale, Chamber Choir and the Friends of Perse Choir, the congregation was treated to a selection of carols old and new, including a world premiere of Grayston Ives’ sparkling Gaudete, written especially for the event. For many Perse pupils and parents, the service marks the start of Christmas, and we thank all who took part for sending us away into the Christmas break with good cheer.

And so we come to the end of a phenomenally busy term for music at the School. While the highlight was undoubtedly the sublime 400th anniversary concert at King’s College Chapel, there has been a huge commitment from vast numbers of Perseans to music across the term, school and city: two evensongs at St John the Evangelist; four informal recitals; three excellent visiting musician recitals; several masterclasses by renowned artists including the Doric String Quartet, tubist Oren Marshall and English Touring Opera; 69 ABRSM practical exam passes; two large ensemble concerts; four family finals of the Perse Musician of the Year competition; the two House Harmony semi-finals and final won by Lithburn Eagles; performances by various groups at The Grand Arcade and Scotsdales Garden Centre raising £829 for EACH; and, of course, our two carol services.

We also congratulated pupils on their individual successes since September. James Keeling, Stephanie Gaunt and William Harmer had their original compositions performed in public as part of the Cambridge Young Composers’ scheme. Patrick Bevan was made co-principal second violin of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain as well as leader of the Junior Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, while Lisa Lukavsky successfully auditioned as a member of the double bass section of the National Youth Orchestra. Rupert Jackson was offered an organ scholarship at Portsmouth Cathedral from autumn 2016, while his brother Pip has been accepted into the National Children’s Wind Orchestra. Diana Borrell made it into the National Children’s U12 Orchestra on viola, while Jay Sardesai successfully auditioned for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain scheme. Oliver Cope and Julia De Luca both achieved distinctions in their diplomas. Tom Roddis has continued to perform his acoustic songs prolifically around Cambridgeshire, winning an Unsigned Chart Hall of Fame Award collected at West Road Concert Hall. Zak Cebon participated in a concert in the Wigmore Hall as part of the Jaques Samuel Junior Music Festival on the piano. Shimmy Osindero took part, along with his brother, in the inaugural performance of the ground-breaking Chineke Foundation orchestras, the first European ensembles consisting solely of black and ethnic minority musicians. Harry Coates conducted his first opera, Richard III, to packed church in Newnham at the start of term; we look forward to the sequel. We omitted several great results in the recent ABRSM theory exams, and commend the following pupils for gaining a distinction grade: Neil Sardesai, Pip Jackson, Scott Simmonds, Eric Taylor and Tom Roddis.

A huge thank you goes to all of our musicians for the countless hours of hard work they have put in this term, and to parents for their continued support of all the Music Department does. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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