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Instrumental programme showcases first year pupils’ talents

First year pupils showcased their new-found musical skills at a series of performances in front of their teachers and classmates.

Every pupil entering the school is given the opportunity to receive tuition on a number of string, woodwind and brass instruments from specialist teachers throughout their first year.

The instruments on offer include flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, cello, double bass, trumpet, cornet, horn, euphonium and baritone horn.

Before they decide which one they want to learn, pupils have taster lessons on several different instruments. They then enjoy a sustained period of tuition culminating in ensemble performances in class.

The instrumental programme has been a great success with many pupils opting to continue with one on one tuition, building on the start they have made.

Mr Michael Dow, Director of Music, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for all first year pupils to learn a wide variety of mainstream instruments. They have discovered talents and aptitudes and many are now keen to continue with individual lessons. They have all worked hard throughout the year to learn different instrumental techniques and play ensemble pieces. The excellent performances before half term were a great credit to the pupils and all the instrumental staff that have taught them throughout the year.”

Charlie Harrison, who is looking forward to continuing to learn the oboe, said: “I had never played the oboe before I started lessons at school but I have really enjoyed them and I want to carry on. The performance in front of the class was nerve-wracking but I enjoyed doing it.”

Mark Wade, who took up the flute, added: “I am going to carry on with my flute lessons and I want to get better at it. The performance was a really good experience and I enjoyed seeing my classmates play their instruments.”

Betty Horsnell, who has played the violin for five years but took up the saxophone at the start of first year, said: “It was really fun to try a different instrument and I appreciated the experience. I would like to carry on with the saxophone.”

Anna Whitehall, who has joined the Beginners Woodwind Ensemble since taking up the clarinet, said: “I have enjoyed learning how to play an instrument and I really like performing. I will definitely carry on with the clarinet and am looking forward to doing my first exam and joining the Junior Band soon.”