Skip to content

Amazing autumn term for music at SGS


We may only be halfway through the autumn term but our exceptional musicians and dedicated Music staff have had a successful and eventful start to the 2019-2020 academic year – and there is much more to come!

Pupils hit the right notes with selection success

A number of Senior School musical pupils have been selected to perform for the Hallé Youth Orchestra or the Hallé Youth Choir.

Kate Langton, Ella Moran and Eloise Scott have been chosen for the Choir, Liv Dow and Talia Zelhof are in the Orchestra and Zoe Shah is in both!

Meanwhile, First Year pupil Tom Culwick has been named in The Hallé Children’s Choir.

Lower Sixth student George Zelhof has been awarded a place at the Junior RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) to study piano.

Junior RNCM is a community of gifted young musicians aged 8 to 18 who come together to develop their talent within the Royal Northern College of Music.

George is rightfully pleased with this achievement and said: “The Junior RNCM has provided me with an invaluable experience of a lifetime.”

As well as this selection, George has also passed his ABRSM Diploma for the piano.

First Year musician Lilly Cook is delighted after being selected to play the double bass in the Greater Manchester Youth String Orchestra.

Lilly, who can also play the piano, was recommended after impressing in a number of other orchestras. She picked up the instrument after taking part in a strings taster session in the Junior School and has not looked back.

She said: “I like playing the double bass because of its sound. I started off on the smaller sizes and now play the 3/4 size instrument. Not as many people play the double bass in comparison to other instruments and I like the opportunities that this offers.”

Lower Sixth student Teddy Hotchkies and Fifth Year Dan Vincent have been selected to play with Foden’s Youth Brass Band.

Teddy, who plays trombone, and Dan, who plays the euphonium, had to audition for a place but dealt well with the higher level of difficulty.

They are now looking forward to a series of concert and events – one of which is a ‘Carolothon’ where they, along with other bands, will attempt to play a whole carol book from front to back!

Fifth Year musician Oscar Williams has regained his place with Cheshire Youth Jazz.

Cheshire Youth Music for Life Big Band, which is for people aged between 10 and 20, was set up to showcase the talents of the best young jazz musicians in Cheshire and to further develop their knowledge of, and interest in, jazz.

Within school, Oscar regularly plays at concerts and impresses audiences with his talent.

The term so far…

Throughout the autumn term, First Year pupils took part in instrumental lessons where they received tuition on the clarinet, oboe and saxophone.

Before half-term they stood up at the front of class and demonstrated what they had learnt with a short performance on their chosen instrument. After half-term they will move on to looking at the flute and bassoon.

Throughout the rest of the year they will get to play other orchestral instruments with specialist teachers and have the chance to show off their new skills in a concert during the summer term.

The Music Department have started some small Chamber groups this year for pupils to improve their ensemble, leadership and independence within rehearsals.

The groups meet on a Wednesday and Friday before school and we have a cello sextet, piano trio, sax quartet and flute group – all of whom are high level performers tackling a challenging repertoire.

The cast list for this year’s Musical Production, ‘Chicago (High School Edition)’, has been announced.

Holly Buckley takes up the role of Roxie Hart and Grace Shropshire will play Velma Kelly. Billy Flynn will be played by Cam Wylie whilst Emma Scorah is Mama Morton.

Other cast members are Gabe Keeble (Amos), Eddie Griffiths (Mary Sunshine), Sam Wilkinson (Fred Caseley), Callum Barton (Fogarty), Niamh Warburton (Liz [Pop]), Tahlia Smith (Annie [Six]), Fiona Telfer (June [Squish]), Caitlin Cutts (Hunyak [Russian]) and Almira Awan-Rutter (Mona [Lipshitz]). The cast will also be supported by the Chorus and a backstage team including set design, costume, stage and lighting and front of house.

The shows take place on Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March.

The first two concerts of our Monday Afternoon Recital Series (MARS), which have seen performances of pieces from artists as varied as Mozart, Keane and The Platters, have been well received and are a great way for keen musicians to display what they have learnt in class and in co-curricular music clubs in front of a live audience.

There are two more MARS concerts scheduled to take place before the end of 2019 – one on Monday 11th November and the other on Monday 2nd December.

Musicians have been practicing their pieces for the Remembrance Service and the Reunion Lunch for Old Stopfordians on Monday 11th November.

Fourth Year Patrick Owen will perform at the main service, Fifth Year Emily Edwards will be at the Lower School assembly, Lower Sixth student Nikolai Krywonos will play at the Middle School assembly and Fourth Year pupil Isabelle Horne will be at the Junior School assembly. The piano trio of Zoe Shah, Liv Dow and Talia Zelhof will play at the lunch.

Assistant Director of Music Mr Kennedy and peripatetic music staff attended a Junior School assembly at the start of term to talk to Year Three to Six pupils about instrumental taster sessions.

The staff played pieces on the saxophone, clarinet, cello, double bass, violin and viola and answered insightful questions from the inquisitive budding musicians.

The taster sessions are free and are a great way to uncover a love of music and develop a talent.

The rest of the term saw the keen Junior School musicians fill rooms with noise and excitement as they got to grips with their chosen instrument.

…and what is to come

In addition to the aforementioned MARS concerts, the Music department have a number of other events taking place before the bells ring in the New Year.

On Thursday 28th November the Autumn Concert will take place in the Dining Hall, the Christmas Concert happens the following week on Wednesday 4th December in the same venue whilst, on Tuesday 10th December, we head down the road to St George’s Church for the Senior School Carol Service. The Junior School Carol Service takes place in St George’s Church on Monday 16th December.