“Music is an outburst of the Soul.” Frederick Delius

Reality television and school inspections are two of my least favourite things. It was therefore with a degree of concern that I learned that the plot of the latest Year 6 show contained not only those modern plagues but also the presence of a power crazed Health and Safety Inspector. I should not have been worried, Year 6 put on a remarkably assured, extremely amusing and professional show. They danced, they sang, they acted and all were involved. Six days is all it took them to go from script to performance including all of the technical aspects of the show which they operated themselves. Great support was given by Year 5 as the chorus and a massive vote of thanks is due to the teachers who supported and inspired a most memorable performance. Indeed, I have never been told to get out of the hall by a pupil, but I have now… Nothing short of terrifying. A splendid effort from all concerned and a big thank you to the performers and crew from us, the audience, who enjoyed the show immensely.

I often am guilty of forgetting that we live on the edge of one of the most culturally and artistically rich environments in the world. There is, I suspect, a concert happening somewhere in Paris every single evening of the week. Yesterday was one of those rare times when I actually did something about it and booked to see a concert a little later in the year. Having the opportunity to see and hear music being performed live is something that I rather take for granted having lived and worked in schools for most of my adult life, so it came as a surprise to learn that the concept of a concert is a relatively recent one. If Wikipedia is to be believed the concert in the present form came into existence in the latter part of the Seventeenth Century, whilst informal music making in groups must have been going on for as long as humans have created instruments. Whilst the growth of audio recordings has meant that one can enjoy a concert in the comfort of home, there is nothing quite like the experience of seeing and hearing a live performance. The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham was clear that music has a role in what is an ever busier and more distracting world when he said that “The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought.” But then he also said “the English may not like music, they absolutely love the noise it makes.” For me it is sometimes the bits in between. The moment of stillness when the music has come to an end; if you need persuading have a look at this compilation from last year’s Proms:


Next week gives all in the school community the opportunity to experience a concert as our Senior School musicians will be performing on Tuesday evening. The Spring Concert programme focuses on the Baroque and Classical periods and will give us all a chance to enjoy the virtuosity of our pupils as they perform as individuals or ensembles. Please do come, it promises to be a fantastic evening. The whole school community is welcome, it is not simply an event for those who spend their time on the Senior School campus.

Nicholas Hammond