Drama, Dance & Music
The Speech and Drama department is an extremely busy department with an exciting programme of productions involving all year groups each year. The Parabola Arts Centre, opened in 2009, houses a highly professional theatre with an audience capacity of 300, and has encouraged more girls to become involved, not only on the stage performing, but also working on the technical aspects of our productions.
The talent and enterprise of both staff and girls continues to amaze and delight with such recent triumphs as last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fiddler on the Roof and our 2011 Edinburgh Fringe production of The Dante Sisters and the Dare Club. Upcoming productions include The Seagull, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Sweet Charity. Alongside our very busy and varied season of theatre, over 300 girls take private Speech and Drama lessons and complete LAMDA examinations.
Dance is a compulsory part of the curriculum in LC1 and LC2 and can be continued as an option from LC3 upwards. Various dance classes and clubs occur weekly (e.g. ballet, tap, jazz and street). Private lessons can be organized at the Janet Marshall School of Dance for girls who are keen to follow this activity further.
As part of the club, dance companies are invited to visit College to lead workshops in many different styles of dance. The College also puts on a popular evening of dance, to which other local schools are also invited. There is also an inter-house dance competition which takes place every other year.
Music is flourishing at College. Every week during term, over 800 individual music lessons take place within the department. This is all the more amazing as no girl misses an academic lesson to attend her music lessons. A tremendous range of instruments are taught either by permanent or visiting staff and the diversity of music-making that happens in College is a joy for all.
One of the highlights of College’s musical year is the House Singing Competition. Each junior House has to choose a popular song and arrange it for House choir and band. The competition always provides a colourful and joyful occasion.
Each year talents are on display within the Autumn, Christmas and Summer Concerts, Scholars’ Concerts, the Leavers’ Concert and the Junior Concert. In addition, we have events such as a Piano Masterclass and competitions in Wind and Brass, Strings, Keyboard and Singing. The Composers' Concert affords an important opportunity to hear exciting creative work by girls studying GCSE, AS and A-level Music. We have recently expanded the number of public concerts we give, adding this year a Spring Concert at the Pittville Pump Room, in addition to the Autumn Concert at Tewkesbury Abbey, which, this year, features Vivaldi’s Gloria sung by College Choral Society and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony performed by the College Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to our fixed, annual series of concerts, we often present concerts beyond College. College Choir sings Evensong and gives recitals at Coventry and Gloucester Cathedrals, and other UK venues such as St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and tours European centres biennially. Over the past few years, the choir has sung in San Marco in Venice and the cathedrals in Florence, Siena and Assisi.