St Joseph’s pupils past and (nearly) present were singing together for the First Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall last week as they took part in the BBC Proms Youth Choir. The girls had all been part of St Joseph’s prestigious Canzonetta choir during their time at St Joseph’s, and it was this experience that provided the platform for their selection as part of Cornwall Music Hub.

The girls taking part (L to R) were Naomi Gillies, Daisy Cooper, Florence Losasso, Hannah Carnegie and Rosanna Rowe, with Frankie Gilbert kneeling. Naomi left St Joseph’s in 2012, Hannah in 2013, Frankie in 2014, Daisy and Flo in 2015 while Rosanna left just this summer. They said of St Joseph’s highly renowned former Director of Music, Mrs Elisabeth Mann and her husband Jonathan “We all want to say a big thank you to you and Mr Mann, none of us would be here tonight if it wasn’t for you and our Canzonetta experiences!”

The BBC Proms Youth Choir recruits up to 350 young singers from various choirs and music hubs from every corner of the UK, who then rehearse in their local areas with their own leaders across the year.

As the performance approaches, the BBC holds a four-day intensive rehearsal residency: this year, 2017 the Proms Youth Choir is made up of singers from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Choir, University of Birmingham Voices, selected singers from the Cornwall Music Hub, the Black Country Music Education Hubs and the London-based Proms Youth Choir Academy.

Rosanna Rowe added “It was a wonderful experience. I’ve learnt so much… I don’t know if you know John Adams’ Harmonium or not but when you hear you’ll realise how crazy it is. Both time and key signature changes nearly every bar and the rhythms are just obscure! Not to mention how high it is…it was intense but great fun. It also splits into 12 different parts so you have to concentrate like mad. I sung 1st Soprano. Flo and Daisy were 2nd Sopranos and Frankie, Hannah and Naomi were Altos. It’s been a massive challenge but I’ve definitely learnt a lot!”

Very well done to all the girls involved, and to Mrs and Mr Mann for their work with the choirs over the years. With the appointment of Mr Peter de Blois as St Joseph’s new Director of Music, all involved in the school look forward to a bright musical future for the school.

National Children’s Choir

May 15th, 2017 | Posted by Rebecca Walker in Music | News | Updates - (0 Comments)

Fallon Gillies (Year 7) and Maddie Marsh (Year 8) are in their second year at the National Children’s Choir and both received a promotion during their Easter 2017 course. Fallon to the Blue Choir and Maddie to the Green Choir (the advanced junior choir). They spent a week of their Easter break on a residential in Shrewsbury School with a full programme of choir singing, musicianship and individual lessons. Next Summer they have the opportunity of going to China on a choir tour which they are both very excited about.

Auditions for places at the NCCGB usually take place in the Autumn in various locations around Britain. www.nccgb.com for details.

Over fifty pupils from St Joseph’s School participated in the annual Wadebridge Music Festival last week and won individual and group honours in a wide range of categories. This prestigious festival of Music and Speech runs for five days and includes speech, brass, choirs, instrumental and vocal competition classes.

The Junior Choir (Years 5 and 6) and the Senior School elite choir Canzonetta both sang beautifully and won their classes with distinction. Canzonetta  were also awarded the Townsend Cup and afterwards were given a masterclass with the adjudicator, Brian Husband on ‘The Bluebird’ by Stanford. The adjudicator’s comments included that Canzonetta featured a “very beautiful, focussed, gentle legato,” and telling them that they “engage most effectively, and sing with musicality, expression and poise.” Praise indeed for a very proud choir.

Many pupils also participated in instrumental and vocal classes. A special mention must go to Ben Hodgson who entered the festival for the first time and was awarded the Wadebridge Festival Singer of the Year.

Many congratulations to all the pupils who took part and a huge thank you to all the music teachers involved and the parents who came along and supported.

Well done to all of you!

Individual Wadebridge Prizewinners:

Year 4

Oscar Amankwah                                (Piano and Vocal)

Lowen Courtney-Bridgey                   (Piano)

Year 5  

Ben Hodgson                                       (Vocal)

Year 7

Alice Amankwah                                 (Piano & Vocal)

Fallon Gillies                                       (Violin, Piano & Vocal)

Year 8

Darcy Courtney-Bridgey                    (Piano and Violin)

Madeleine Marsh                                (Vocal)

Chloe Smith                                         (Flute)

Isabelle Thorns                                    (Piano and Vocal)

Congratulations to our Junior School Choir.

Winners of the Primary School Choir 2017 singing two contrasting pieces.

The school year seems to be flying past, and today is as busy as so many here at school. Canzonetta sounded fantastic practicing for Wadebridge in the additional rehearsal Mrs Whitehead has kindly put on, in addition to the two opportunities for choir practice on Monday. While Mrs Mann may be enjoying what I am sure is a very busy retirement, all at school are looking to build on her legacy and continue St Joseph’s excellent musical tradition. I look forward to hearing great things fromWadebridge from all of our competitions across the Junior and Senior schools. Thank you to everyone who has helped prepare the children for what is an excellent opportunity to show just what they can do.