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Musicians impress with virtual performances

Stockport Grammar School provides exceptional musical opportunities for every child and this has continued whilst pupils have been learning at home.

Musicians from both the Senior and Junior Schools have been demonstrating their talent – both vocally and on instruments – in videos that have been warmly received on the school’s social media feeds.

The first video in the series was Fourth Year Ella Moran’s performance of Bellin’s ‘Vaga Luna, Che Inargenti’ with Head of Music Mr Michael Dow. Clare Hilton commented it was “beautiful” and Selina Mills added that it was “note perfect”.

Sixth Formers Grace Shropshire and Holly Buckley, with Mr Dow on piano, produced this cover of Eva Cassidy’s ‘Over the Rainbow’ in tribute to the NHS.

Grace said: “We wanted to share our version of the NHS rainbow to say thank you to all of the medical staff, carers, key workers and researchers working hard”.

First Year Abigail S and her Year Five sister Charlotte created a lovely performance of ‘Beautiful Jersey’.

Mr Dow recorded the piano part and sent it to the young musicians who then recorded their parts over the top.

Abigail said: “My sister and I wanted to perform the song to our relatives via Skype on Liberation Day. We practised the words, which are in Jersey French and English.”

Third Year pupil John Lauder sang and played piano in his version of ‘Maybe’ from the musical Annie – a performance Clare Hicks commented was “fabulous”.

Sixth Form musicians Sarah Callow and Zoe Shah recorded a beautiful duet of ‘Esurientes’ from Vivaldi’s ‘Magnificat’ – a song that would have appeared in this year’s Summer Concert.

Senior Percussion Ensemble members Archie Hoyle, Dan Grant, Oscar Williams and Dan Vincent joined percussion teacher Mr Mark Landon for a virtual performance of a song called ‘In The Box’.

The piece, which was written and composed by Mr Landon, is performed using a drum kit and four cajóns – a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru that is played by slapping the front or rear faces with the hands, fingers or implements such as brushes, mallets or sticks.

First Year Emilia Paul combined forces with her older sister and Old Stopfordian Jessica (OS 2011) to perform a lovely vocal duet of ‘Count On Me’. Juliette Palmer commented that both singers had “stunning voices” and Paul Spence praised the “wonderful family talent and teamwork”.

First Year pupil Toby Wells created a thirty second musical piece using a glass and jar.

The video combined two of the Music department’s challenges – Stomp Percussion (creating your own piece with everyday objects around the house) and Virtual Ensemble (creating a virtual music ensemble performance involving recording a piece with more than one part).

Second Year Anna Stevens displayed great energy and ability as she performed Mozart’s ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ on the piano.

Members of the Chamber Choir created a fantastic virtual choir recording of Pitoni’s ‘Cantate Domino’, a piece they sang earlier this year at University College, Oxford.

Ju Aughton commented: “Love this, gave me chills” and Sarah Moran declared it “absolutely brilliant”.

Fourth Year Lily Amet produced a wonderful piano solo of Ludovico Einaudi’s ‘Primavera’.

Fifth Year singer Gabe Keeble performed a version of ‘Seaside Rendezvous’ by Queen.

The song is the seventh track on the band’s fourth studio album, ‘A Night At The Opera’ and we are big fans of Gabe’s interpretation of the hit.

Leader of the Junior School orchestra Year Six pupil Clara Z played a superb violin solo of ‘Tambourin’ by André Grétry.

Third Year Chase Hodgett recorded an atmospheric version of ‘Remembering Sunday’ by American rock band All Time Low.

Fourth Year Talia Zelhof, who has been selected to take part in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s online version of ‘Jupiter’ from Holst’s ‘The Planets’, recorded this lovely video of Copland’s ‘The Cat and The Mouse’.

Fourth Year Liv Dow and her First Year brother Zac performed a lovely cello duet of the first movement of Vivaldi’s ‘Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos’.

Adina Vidler in the Third Year performed an emotive version of ‘Skinny Love’ by Birdy.

The song, which was originally released by the indie folk band Bon Iver was covered and released by British vocalist Birdy in 2011 and reached the top 20.

Fourth Year musician Patrick Owen displayed his talent on the trumpet as he played Hummel’s ‘Trumpet Concerto (First Movement)’.

Year Six pupil Chloe H joined with Music Teacher Mr Ollie Mills – virtually – to produce a stunning version of ‘The Sound Of Music’.

Upper Sixth student Pippa Brown, who was recently awarded a Distinction in her Performance Diploma on the saxophone, played the second movement of Ravel’s ‘Sonatine’ on the piano.

First Year pupil Dan Wood demonstrated his expertise on the flute with a performance of ‘Siciliano’ by Bach.

Year Three musician Zoe L recorded a version of ‘Quizas, Quizas, Quizas’ on the violin.

Sixth Form singers Caitlin Cutts, Sarah Callow and Zoe Shah joined together with Old Stopfordian and pianist Elsa Shah to record a performance of ‘The Blue Bird’ by Charles Villiers Stanford.

At the end of the Senior School Headmaster’s final assembly of the school year, Fifth Year Oscar Williams played us out with a virtual version of ‘Summertime’.

Find out more about the Music department and musical co-curricular opportunities.