On Friday 17th June, we welcomed five local primary schools to the Ruddock Hall as part of an outreach programme to develop their choirs and help them to teach music and songwriting. Around 150 primary school children took part in the event, which saw them showcasing their self-composed pieces which they had been working on for six months. Thank you to the students who volunteered their time to help the children around and to ensure that the event ran smoothly.
The Senior Swing Band hosts another summer’s evening of jazz, featuring soloists from both schools and professional guest musicians including Joe Thompson.
After the hiatus of the pandemic it is great to return, with a thriving Swing Band under the inspired leadership of Gary Hill.
Old Edwardian, Joe has been a regular in London clubs for more years than he cares to remember, as well as being resident pianist at the world famous Ivy Club, and TV appearances. He has a number of high profile clients to his name, including royalty, all of whom are willing to vouch for his musicianship!
We are lucky enough to have him providing his services to the school on a more regular basis these days and it’s no surprise that small-group jazz, and jazz piano are thriving under his remarkable stewardship.
On Wednesday 30 March, approximately 300 students from King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School took part in this year’s concert at Symphony Hall where 11 of our music ensembles performed. This included a Massed Choir consisting of KES/KEHS Choral Society, Lower School Choir, KES Choir and KEHS Chamber Choir joining forces to perform Handel’s ‘Zadok The Priest’ in the spirit of Her Majesty’s upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Repertoire across the concert varied from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, to Erroll Garner’s ‘Misty’, to Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’. Well done to everyone who took part and thank you to all the members of staff who helped out on the day!
On Thursday 3rd February, students from King Edward VI High School for Girls and King Edward’s School performed in the Lunchtime Recital in the Ruddock Hall. The programme featured chamber music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Amy Beach, performed by the String Quartet and Piano Quintet respectively.
On Sunday 5th and Monday 6th December, 11 of our music ensembles from King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School took part in this year’s Christmas Concerts. Below, you can see the KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra, KES Choir, and Concert Band in action. Well done to everyone who performed!
On Friday 19th November, students from King Edward VI High School for Girls and King Edward’s School performed at the Elgar Concert Hall in the Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham. The programme featured pieces by Brahms, Delibes, and a new opera commissioned from Christopher Churcher in Sixths.
On Monday 8th November, our visiting jazz piano teacher and ex-KES pupil, Mr Joe Thompson, gave an assembly to all boys in Shells, Removes and Upper Middles.
Along with Fifths pupils Daniel Gooding and James Gooding on drums and bass respectively, Mr Thompson played some examples of well-known tunes in different styles. He also explained what the concept of harmony was, by transitioning between songs with different genres seamlessly due to their similar harmonic structures.
The overarching message of the assembly addressed the importance of exploring new avenues and to have the courage to try new things; not just in music, but in life in general.
Mr Thompson comes into school to teach jazz piano every Monday. Please do get in touch with the Music Department if your son would like to have lessons.