Music for Advanced Performance Pupils
More able musical pupils are stretched in class activities by the use of open-ended composition tasks (pupils may add increasing layers of sophistication according to their own ability and teacher suggestions). Performance tasks often have extension activities or parts of varied difficulty to challenge highly able performers. Annually, every pupil in KS3 selects a piece at their own level to perform to the class; this provides opportunity for able pupils to select very difficult pieces (in recent years a Year 9 pupil played Strauss’s Horn Concerto, for example.) GCSE and A Level pupils prepare a public recital annually. The Music Department also runs many extra-curricular activities to challenge pupils. A team of visiting specialist staff offer private tuition in all mainstream instruments and singing. There is a free music theory class after school each week open to all. The Collegiate Chorus gives all pupils an opportunity to develop singing skills and reading music skills. In the past two years the Chorus has performed in the world premiere of a 40-minute choral work newly commissioned from Alexander L’Estrange, and Vivaldi’s Gloria with a professional orchestra. The Orchestra gives all instrumentalists technical challenge and the opportunity to perform in large groups. Smaller groups of talented musicians are trained in chamber ensembles by specialist staff (e.g. the Guitar Group, the Jazz Band, the Percussion Ensemble).
Pupil musicians also attend concerts, shows, masterclasses and workshops both within and outside school. There are regular opportunities for pupils to perform publically including at the Autumn and Spring Concerts (sometimes held at Hull City Hall, Beverley Minster or Hull Minster), the annual Macmillan Christmas Concert (in Beverley Minster), the Christmas Carol Service at Hull Minster, and other charity and lunchtime concerts held during the year (e.g. on Open Morning). Many pupils also perform in front of the school at the Christmas, Easter and Remembrance Assemblies. We have excellent liaison with the local music hubs; many of our pupils are key performers in local youth orchestras as well as singers in the choirs of Beverley Minster and Hull Minster. Other pupils specialising in Music Theatre often take lead roles in performances given by NAPA and visiting professional productions at the Hull Truck and Hull New Theatres.