The music department
"Music at St Aidan's is simply staggering" Esther Jones, National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Choral Conductor
Music Activities - (please check for any daily amendments)
St. Aidan’s has enjoyed a national reputation for the excellence of its rich musical life for many years. We estimate that around 500 students are involved in some kind of musical activity.
Our 17 musical ensembles that practise and play together weekly are:
ABC (Aidan's Boys' Choir)
Aidan's Flame (Worship Band)
Click on the other links below for more information:
These ensembles perform regularly in school, in the community, around the UK and abroad. A number of the senior ensembles have achieved competition success at local and national level and have travelled abroad quite extensively, the Concert Band visiting Canada in 2005, and Chamber Choir and Orchestra performing in Paris at Notre Dame, La Madeleine, Chantilly and Disneyland in 2007. Students at St. Aidan’s regularly gain places in regional and national ensembles including the National Youth Orchestra, the National Children’s Wind Orchestra and National Youth Brass Band
The school plays host each year to a National Festival of Music for Youth Regional Festival in which our home ensembles perform as well as up to 20 other ensembles from around the region. Recent successes in the NFMY include Swing Band being given the “Outstanding Performance” award at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham, and subsequently performing at the Schools’ Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2005. In 2007 the Chamber Choir achieved exactly the same. In 2006 the Chamber Choir won the Senior School Choir of the Year competition on BBC1’s Songs of Praise programme, and have since been invited to sing again on Songs of Praise several times, including “The Big Sing” at the Royal Albert Hall. They also regularly broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on the “Daily Service”. In January 2008 the Choir had the honour of performing for HRH the Prince of Wales at the opening of the newly refurbished Royal Hall in Harrogate.
In February 2008 the St. Aidan’s Music Department and its wide range of musical activities were given high national profile on a BBC1 Songs of Praise programme from Harrogate. In July 2008 three of our senior ensembles (Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Band) were invited to perform at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham, at which the Symphonic Wind Band was awarded 'Highly Commended' placing them second in the School Wind Band Class. Our international profile was further raised through the Chamber Choir's concert tour to Tuscany in the same month, performing at Florence and Pistoia Cathedrals.
One of the largest scale events ever attempted by St. Aidan's occurred in February 2009 when 300 musicians, including students, staff, parents and friends performed Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man A Mass For Peace in Leeds Town Hall to huge acclaim. Following the success of this huge event the St. Aidan's community performed Fauré's Requiem Mass as part of a concert at the Royal Hall in Harrogate on Saturday 10th October in aid of the Rachel Henry Community Foundation, a local charity supporting community projects and children with cancer. 4th November sees our third massed collaboration between students, staff, parents and friends of St. Aidan's. Following the enormous success of the Armed Man and Faure's Requiem in 2009, we performed a special concert in Ripon Cathedral on 4th November 2010 featuring all 5 of St. Aidan's student choirs and the Symphony Orchestra and by way of a finale we combined forces to perform Handel's Zadok the Priest and Parry's I Was Glad. Once again the concert was well supported by families and friends of the school, for which we offer a huge vote of thanks!
All three of St. Aidan's wind bands shared the stage of the magnificent Royal Hall on Sunday 13th March 2011 with the legendary Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, Scotland to present a marvellously impressive concert before a capacity audience, including parents, friends, many local dignitaries and service veterans. Seldom do school musicians have such an opportunity to work alongside such highly respected, skilled and refined musicians. We were especially pleased that the Band of the Royal Marines made it possible for distinguished former student and stalwart trumpet player in St. Aidan's Concert Band for many years, Darren Spurgeon, to be featured as soloist with the band. The Marines Band travelled down to Harrogate from Rosyth, Fife, through blizzard conditions for a joint rehearsal with St. Aidan's Symphonic Wind Band on Saturday afternoon. Harrogate Sea Cadets were in attendance to welcome the audience to the Sunday concert, which began in fine style, with the Marines Band assisted by their Corps of Drums playing with their customary precision, impact and panache. The 70 members of St. Aidan's Junior Band followed with a superbly played set of pieces including Pirates of the Caribbean, in keeping with the nautical flavour of the evening! They were followed by St. Aidan's Concert Band, bringing their style and enthusiasm to medleys of John Williams film music and Michael Jackson songs. After the interval, it was the turn of our flagship wind band St. Aidan's Symphonic Wind Band with a set of pieces including Royal Salute and a dazzling performance of Khachaturian's Sabre Dance. The concert concluded with the Marines and our Symphonic Wind Band joining forces in a number of pieces, concluding with traditional band pieces, including the Marines regimental march, A Life on the Ocean Wave. A truly memorable and glittering occasion.
|Mr M Pallant||Director of Music/Community Cohesion|
|Mrs J Leonard|
|Mrs V Elliott|
|Mrs L Collett|
|Mrs E Hussey|
Students and parents please note that although we encourage you to bring your own instruments into school for lessons and ensembles they will not be covered by school insurance whilst on the premises. The instrument store is protected by a key code and a security camera, but in the unlikely event of damage please ensure you have adequate insurance in place.
If you have any questions, speak to your music teacher or email@example.com