On Monday 16th December, Mr Thomas (prep school music lead) hosted our preparatory school's Christmas concert with performances from children in Years 3-6. The audience enjoyed mince pies before settling down to a selection of festive pieces.
Isaac, Freddie and Rupert from Year 3 played piano pieces, followed by the prep's string ensemble before a range of other instrumentalists including solos by Eli (Year 4, guitar); Kathryn and Victoria (Year 4, piano); Lukas (Year 4) and Niamh (Year 6) performing a duet as brother and sister on the violin.
Our Year 5 children then performed ten pieces, with a range of soloists and duets on flute, cornet, saxophone, cello and piano. Our year 6s subsequently demonstrated how much the children can progress with one-to-one tuition by performing challenging pieces on both violin and piano. The evening ended with Anika and Charlie (both Year 5) playing a duet on their cornets, an apt finale, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". This followed their earlier performances with the whole school Brass ensemble in both the prep and senior dining halls over lunch.
Mr Thomas and Mr Waterhouse (Director of Performing Arts for AKS whole school) concluded the evening by talking about musical development in AKS and the importance of the class music scheme, which enables every child to learn at least one instrument from Year 3 upwards. Children learn violin in Year 3, trombone in Year 4, flute or clarinet in Year 5 and cornet in Year 6. This additional experience provides a wider appreciation and understanding of music, as well as the opportunity to decide which instrument suits them best. We have a number of children who play for the prestigious Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra and the way in which music is taught and encouraged across the school plays a central part in developing such talent.
Mr Waterhouse is excited to see (and hear!) the children progress as they continue onto senior school ad have a wide range of bands to participate in and opportunities to perform.