***FRIDAY 22ND MARCH - Message for Royal Albert Hall Senior Mixed Choir - parts available at: http://400.benabelman.com***
The Music department is led by the Director of Music, Mr Simon Werner, and the Assistant Director of Music, Miss Elizabeth White. It also consists of one full-time and two part-time classroom teachers, a part-time administrative assistant, a full-time senior instrumental tutor and head of brass, part-time heads of strings, woodwind and percussion and thirty visiting instrumental teachers covering the full range of orchestral instruments as well as voice, piano, keyboard, drum kit, acoustic, electric and bass guitar.
Dame Alice Owen’s School specialises in Music and ten pupils each year are admitted to Year 7 on the basis of aptitude in Music. At Key Stage Three, pupils in Year 7 receive two lessons of classroom music per week and those in Years 8 and 9 receive one lesson. Year 9 pupils are taught in groups of no more than twenty pupils per class. All pupils follow a National Curriculum integrated course in Performing, Composing and Appraising. There are large option groups at GCSE and A Level; currently seventy-four pupils are studying GCSE Music in three sets per year group, thirty-one students are studying A Level Music and ten students are studying A Level Music Technology. Results are excellent, with many students going on to study Music at University (including Oxbridge) or at the Conservatoires.
More than three hundred pupils receive instrumental lessons in school and many more have private tuition outside. Several pupils attend the Junior Saturday Morning Schools at the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.
The department is well resourced, with a concert hall, three specialist classrooms (one with networked Sibelius 6 software), a fully-equipped state of the art recording studio, eight practice rooms, a rehearsal and recital studio, main office, store rooms and staff room.
The department runs an extensive range of extra-curricular activities including three orchestras, two concert bands, six choirs, two soul bands, an extensive range of chamber music and an annual musical production and access and involvement is encouraged for as wide a range of pupils as possible.
The First Symphony Orchestra has performed in all the major London Concert Halls and has toured in France and Italy. It has taken part in the National Festival of Music for Youth on four occasions where it has been Highly Commended and has taken part in the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. The Concert Band has also taken part in the National Festival receiving a Highly Commended and is undertaking a seventh tour of Belgium in July 2012. In March 2011, the Senior Girls Choir, the Senior Boys Choir and the Close Harmony Group participated in the 110th Mid Somerset Festival in Bath and achieved 1st place in their categories. The Senior Mixed Chamber Choir competed at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, North Wales in July 2007, July 2010 and July 2011 most recently achieving fourth place against eighteen international choirs.
The following clips appear on YouTube:
Llangollen 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OuYW_wyZ4c
Mid Somerset Festival 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofEzg5SaqcM
Llangollen 2012: http://llangollen.tv/en/clip/owens-school-chamber-choir/
Most recent musical productions have included ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (2006), ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ (2007), ‘Bugsy Malone’ (2008), ‘Guys and Dolls’ (2009) ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ (2010) and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ (2011).
For the past fifteen years the school has operated a Saturday Music School for its pupils and for pupils aged 7 – 18 from the local community. This is managed by the senior instrumental tutor in partnership with Hertfordshire Music Service. Two hundred young people take part each week and the numbers continue to grow.
Mr S Werner (Director of Music)
Further information for current parents and students can be found on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). Log-in via the link above, click on Departments, then Music. Parents are reminded that they share log-in and password details with their child. Details of Concert Dates and Ticket Information can be found under the News and Dates button above.
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