In October 2019 Clifton High hosted its inaugural Festival of Music, Performance and Arts. This highly ambitious and novel week of activities for pupils and families featured workshops and events to showcase and celebrate the creative arts within the School community. The High School was privileged to host a number of distinguished guests during the week; these included the Docklands Sinfonia Orchestra, who worked with pupils on a variety of projects, including this year’s School Production. The School’s young musicians played alongside professional musicians to the accomplished performances of the Senior School and Sixth Form ensemble during their triumphant run of West Side Story at the Redgrave Theatre.
Other highlights included children from our nursery children in the Hive, through to Year 6, performing with members of the Sinfonia and artist James Mayhew to depict showcases of:
- The Four Seasons;
- Bucket Drumming Workshops led by Rob Farrer, Percussion Co-ordinator at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama;
- A lecture on the Art of Storytelling by the BBC Natural History Unit’s Creative Director, Mike Gunton;
- A very special performance of the award-winning Caretaker’s Guide to the Orchestra by Jeremy Holland-Smith (the Festival’s curator) at Clifton Cathedral, which Junior School children, along with invited local primary schools, attended.
A Finale Concert at the Cathedral brought a fitting conclusion to the Festival and showcased a week of creativity and performance, leaving guests moved and inspired by the confidence, talent and focus displayed by pupils. Specialists agreed that the collaboration was of mutual benefit, each were motivated by one another.
The unique opportunities the children and young people experienced during the week were unparalleled; equipping them with a wealth of skills for life. Dr Alison Neill, Head of School said,
‘Creating and sharing in performance and music to this standard has been extra-ordinary – quite remarkable. To work with consummate professionals who embody sheer pleasure and fulfilment in what they do has been an absolute privilege’.