With the generous assistance of the PTA Kermesse Grant fund and the support of the school we have hosted, for the first time, a string residency at La Châtaigneraie.
The United Strings of Europe are a professional String Orchestra based in London. Most of the players met as students at the Royal Academy of Music in London and continued to play together after leaving the establishment. The leader of the orchestra, Julian Azkoul, is an alumni of LGB and there are several francophone members of the orchestra.
The goal for us this week was to bring high quality “classical” music to the students, showing them the fun and accessibility of classical music and promoting the learning of an instrument.
During the course of the week the orchestra played to year 1 year 4, all of year 7 and 8 students and worked with the IB class, particularly with two students who wrote music for string orchestra for their IB examination. Students were invited to participate in a “pop-up” concert and we performed to the secondary and primary schools.
The orchestra was wonderful to work with, with every member communicating and interacting with our students. There were many questions from the classes and the patience, enthusiasm and professionalism of the orchestra was truly incredible.
On the Wednesday evening we performed an excellent concert with the Châtaigneraie Community chorus, led by Rachel Harris Lindop. This gave a chance for the wider community to hear, not only this wonderful orchestra, but also the high quality of our blossoming community choir.
Without the support of the Campus principal and the PTA Kermesse Grant we would never have been able to have this opportunity. I firmly believe that a thorough investment in the arts is key to giving our community a holistic and strong cultural background that is as essential as maths or science in this ever changing world we live in. Without the grandiose facilities that other campuses may possess, I believe it is paramount for us at La Chât to investigate clever and inventive ways to bring the arts to our students and to our community.
John Aram, Head of Music (and Parent)