Music is a part of our heritage at St Joseph’s and we encourage all pupils to get involved
We are proud to be a Yamaha School and share the Yamaha ambition of cultural enrichment through musical excellence in the arts.
We are able to offer students top quality new, well maintained Yamaha pianos for use in all teaching rooms and throughout the school, including the excellent grand piano in the College Hall. This is used for the professional recitals at lunchtimes once a term to help inspire the students and offer them both the opportunity to watch leading musicians perform and to engage with them in workshops and masterclasses. Part of the collaboration with Yamaha is to sponsor visits from leading pianists to provide masterclasses with our piano students.
Beyond these Yamaha supported events, St. Joseph’s engages an exciting variety of solo musicians and ensembles to play for these lunchtime concerts. Among the artists who have recently visited the school is Laurie Holloway, the bandleader for the Michael Parkinson Show and first series of Strictly Come Dancing. Following Laurie Holloway’s visit, a number of singers from St. Joseph’s were accepted onto his prestigious Holloway Montgomery summer course for talented young musicians affording them the opportunity to perform with the Laurie Holloway Trio in front of an audience at Norden Farm Arts Centre. Also performing for these concerts at the school recently were piano sextet, The Phacelia Ensemble, who performed works by Schumann and Haydn and oboist Julia White one of the country’s foremost orchestral oboists and now also an oboe tutor at the College.
St Joseph’s has also forged a close relationship with the British composer Cecilia McDowall, who has been eight times short-listed for the British Composer Awards and won the British Composer Award for Choral Music in 2014. Cecilia visits the school every two years to work with our A level music students on the composition element of their course.
Through all of these partnerships and collaborations, St. Joseph’s is able to offer a unique opportunity to its pupils to engage with, and be inspired by, talented and motivational professional musicians. For this reason, the school has a reputation for its high musical standards producing a string of highly talented musicians who have gone on to careers as performers and teachers themselves.