The week before Half Term saw the beginning of this year’s Fourth Form Music Festival, starting with the preliminary rounds. The Festival is an opportunity for our junior musicians to play or sing to a live audience of their peers, regardless of what standard they have reached.  We had girls who had only been learning their instrument for just over a term, proudly performing their pieces alongside girls who have already reached the upper grades. We heard over 100 performances, from pieces that were half a page long to entire movements of concertos.  All of the girls took pride in their performances and managed to contain their nerves, even though for many of them this was the first time anyone other than their teacher had heard them. 

This year the Festival was planned as part of the Donaldson Enrichment Week and the girls had a musical project to work on alongside the performances. They were placed in teams and tasked with creating an online musical page on their iPads which they presented to the rest of the year group at the end of the session. We had many entertaining videos of short films, interviews, interesting facts about the pieces they had performed and tips for controlling nerves.  The Year 9 girls who were not participating in the festival took part in a fun Percussion Workshop in which two guest musicians taught the girls ‘body percussion’ and how to play the spoons. The workshop gave the girls who don’t play a musical instrument an opportunity to get involved in music and develop their coordination, teamwork, rhythmic and creative skills.

From the preliminary rounds, 20 girls were chosen to perform again in the Music Festival Celebration Concert which took place on the evening of 27th February. The girls displayed a huge amount of musical talent and masses of potential, so it will be exciting to watch their progress throughout the coming years. As always we had a wide variety of different instruments and genres of music to entertain us. Laura and Coco both played piano, Candy and Ashley played flute, Sienna gave us a performance on the double bass, Iona on her oboe and Mercy played the drums. Elyse and Florence represented the brass, with horn and cornet and we were treated to a guitar duo from Sol and Zina. Our contingent of singers were Grace, Tessa, Dora, Amy, Charlie, Leah, Sophie, Izzy and Iris. All of the musicians performed with confidence and musicality and should be congratulated on their hard work.

This year, the Festival Concert was adjudicated by Colin Dowdeswell MBE. Colin was the Director of Music at Norwich School, an Associated Board Examiner and a successful composer. The prize-winners were Sienna, who was presented with the cup and a gift card, Leah, Izzy and Charlie, who each received a gift card. 

Mrs Rachel Allard, Music Teacher