The final week of half term proved to be a very successful one for Windermere School. In a…
The Music department offers a wide range of organised group musical activities which include the orchestra, chamber ensembles for string and wind instruments, junior and senior choirs, a madrigal group and jazz, flute, string and saxophone groups.
Individual music tuition is available and as varied as the playing of the harp to rock guitar. Some individual instrumental lessons are arranged outside of academic lesson time and the opportunity for individual practice is encouraged for all musicians at this time. The school is a centre for Associated Board and Rock School exams.
The opportunity for performance is important for all musicians and vocalists and a varied programme meets the needs of all levels.
Internally, vocalists lead the school in the morning assemblies as members of the choir, perform in concerts for parents and take to the stage during the Inter-House Performing Arts Competition and most spectacularly in the annual musical production.
Our good links with the local community have meant that students have performed major works, by joining forces with larger choirs. Recently we gave two performances of Gloria by Vivaldi. The reputation of the choir is such that they are much in demand for local weddings, as are some of our senior soloists.
Likewise our musicians enjoy many of the same openings, starting from individuals performing in morning assemblies to the more experienced performers being members of the professional orchestra accompanying the school musical. Each year the parents are invited to a summer concert when performers of all levels and disciplines can be enjoyed.
Each year, participation in musical festivals gives the opportunity for both vocalists and instrumentalists to compete. The Mary Wakefield and South Cumbria Festivals have been regular venues, and most recently the Carlisle Music and Drama Festival has been added. Many of our students have enjoyed great success at these festivals.
To extend the expertise and inspire the pupils, weekend and day long workshops are arranged. Atarah Ben Tovim is a regular visitor; other specialists such as the Scottish Flute Trio have led flute weekends; Richard Ingham recently led a Jazz Weekend; and previously Deborah Catterall, trainer of the National Youth Choir, inspired our vocalists. Most recently a percussion day gave specialist guidance in orchestral and African drumming.
Trips to concerts and other musical occasions are provided for the students. Classical events held at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester have been much enjoyed and a visit to Music Live at the N.E.C. Birmingham led to the formation of student-led group who now perform at the top the bill at our own school prom.
International Music Tours are one of the highlights offered to our musicians. In recent years a large group has been to Barcelona and Venice where they performed for local audiences, enjoyed the culture and occasionally some sun and relaxation.
The school is supportive of students playing and singing in local and national orchestras and choirs and are always looking for new opportunities.
Three of our four daughters have been boarders at the Senior School following our unexpected move to Hong Kong in 2012. One moved back to board at Windermere following two years in Hong Kong and our youngest can't wait to follow in her footsteps and return as an overseas boarder into Year 9. We cannot fault the standard of education and care which the girls have enjoyed throughout their Windermere journeys. In particular, we love the location - and the way in which the Lake District becomes part of the curriculum - and the international flavour of the Senior School.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.