Mrs Kesel, the newly appointed Director of Developing Performing Arts, may have a fresh new role but she is no stranger to the College having been a key member of the music department since she joined in 1984.
Under her direction, the College Music Department has built a reputation for excellence and is known for inspiring and developing young musicians to help them reach their full potential.
This new role will see her pour her infectious energy into the development of the performing arts department as a whole, focussing not only on Music but also Drama to ensure a cohesive approach across the whole school including both Senior and Prep.
“Performing arts help to develop skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subjects including creativity, intuition, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, the ability to work in a group, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others” Mandy Kesel
Partnership with London Mozart Players
In 2019 a strategic partnership was formed with the London Mozart Players allowing College pupils the opportunity to work with highly regarded professional musicians. This alliance offers many opportunities for the development of young musicians confidence and experience and to raise the standards of musical awareness.
Mrs Kesel will oversee the continuation of this partnership with a programme of workshops and side-by-side concerts planned in 2021 – 2022 and beyond.
This alliance naturally raises performance standards by creating more opportunities for pupils to engage with and be inspired by high profile musicians, teachers and visiting artists in both the Senior and Prep School.
Prep Performing Arts
As part of the developments, Mrs Kesel has ensured Prep pupils can now perform in senior informal lunchtime concerts and attend the professional lunchtime concert; they can also participate in Senior School Orchestra and Junior Wind Band rehearsals.
LAMDA lessons have been expanded to allow Year 1 to participate and there is also a focus to encourage as many children as possible in Prep to learn a musical instrument.
In the pipeline there are plans to introduce Prep concerts and Christmas events and a show alongside the current programme of termly infant and junior teatime concerts and LAMDA recitals.
The story so far…2018-21
- New purpose built Music Centre build completed
- Yamaha School Status
- Performing Arts Administrator appointed
- Expanded Music and LAMDA lessons available
- London Mozart Players Partnership formed
Performing Arts Programme 2021-22
- Regular College concerts
- Christmas and Easter College celebrations
- Year 8-13 Musical Drama production
- Year 5 – 8 Drama production
- Informal student lunchtime concerts throughout the year
- Professional masterclasses
- Professional lunchtime concerts
- GCSE and A Level performances
- Termly LAMDA showcases
- Termly informal Teatime recitals in Prep
- Theatre trips to local and London venues
- Scholar Trips combined for music and drama scholars to musicals
Future /provisional plans 22-24
- Continued development of the programme
- Further integrations cross departmental and through school
- Provisional plans for Year 6 and 7 early evening concert
- Concert tour to the Vatican 21-22 or 22-23 ( Pandemic permitting) with expanded local tours