There is a passion for Performing Arts within the School. Whatever age, from Nursery through to Sixth Form, there are always opportunities to perform. The School Musical is now a major annual event and audience numbers increase each year along with the size of the cast. Last year saw over 100 students take part in Guys and Dolls. There are Year group performances as well, notably the Year 9 annual production, and students studying for Public Examinations in Drama also perform to whole-school audiences. The Shell Connections project has produced many memorable performances along with Shakespeare plays and devised in-house performances. A ll take place in the beautiful surroundings of our Centre for Creative Arts which looks out to the Sculpture Court.
LAMDA examinations are taken by over a third of the School and the results are outstanding. Both teachers are professional actresses and their experience is immeasurable. From Introductory examinations in Verse and Prose to Gold Medals in Acting, each student receives opportunity, training and support to achieve an excellent standard in performance.
Work experience for students has included working with top producers in London, including Michael Rose Limited and Cameron Mackintosh and all receive excellent feedback. Many students join the National Youth Theatre and train at Drama schools that include the Guildford School of Speech and Drama and Central School of Speech and Drama as well as at many top Universities.
The School’s music department adds a further dimension to Performing Arts and there is plenty of extra curricular music. The Vocal Ensemble has visited France, performing at Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres Cathedral and on the Fantasy Stage at EuroDisney; the Orchestra plays throughout the Peterborough area at many charity events and concerts. As well as performing in the weekly communion service in our own School Chapel, the Chapel Choir have sung at many cathedrals and famous churches such as St. Bride's, Fleet Street and Bury St. Edmund's Cathedral and also in the wonderfully intimate and beautiful chapels in many Cambridge Colleges. Our students have been offered Choral Scholarships at Cambridge whilst the opportunity to sing in the Chapel Choir gives them a great chance to sample the wonderful, sacred choral repertoire for which Great Britain is famous.
Performances in local and national music festivals are also part of our work and we have had considerable success with many of our ensembles in all age groups at the Peterborough Festival of Music. Soloists have also had great success in both performance and composition.
Over 60% of the pupils have instrumental or singing lessons. Our excellent teachers follow the syllabus of the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music and our success rate is extremely high, with many of them passing with merits and distinctions. Whatever the instrument, we have a professional tutor to teach individually or in groups: all instrumentalists are encouraged to perform regularly in chamber ensembles. Some like to be inventive in their music making too; at the Christmas assembly our Year 11 chamber group formed their own ensemble and used the contents of their Christmas crackers in a highly imaginative manner: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will never be forgotten by anyone in attendance!
One of the most popular regular events is the Jazz breakfast. Professional musicians provide music while parents and friends of the School enjoy a range of breakfast treats provided by our outstanding catering staff whilst reading the Sunday papers. All of this takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the Refectory Gallery where the inspirational artwork of the students adorns the walls.
Whatever your skills and interests, we believe that participation in the Performing Arts enhances confidence across all life experiences and allows an invaluable outlet for emotional expression.