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.

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St Joseph’s School, Launceston have been celebrating its centenary this year. The celebrations began in March 2015 when the school held a service at The Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene where pupils and staff joined together for songs, readings and prayers.

Over the first weekend of July crowds of people joined the celebrations at St Joseph’s School, marking the school’s 100th anniversary. Current pupils, past pupils, families, staff, Governors and friends all attended the celebrations making the weekend one to remember.

On Friday 3rd July past pupils and staff were welcomed to the school to enjoy a trip down memory lane. Reuniting with old friends, touring the school and meeting the pupils, all whilst enjoying a cream tea. Visitors had the chance to reflect on their time at St Joseph’s and enjoyed a display of old photographs and uniform kindly organised by the current librarian Mrs Kathryn Warren. It was lovely to see so many former pupils come back and tell their stories.

On Saturday 4th July the weather was extremely kind and the school was buzzing with families and friends of St Joseph’s. The day started with music by Company B, a 7 piece jump jive band followed by the school band which included the talented Zola Courtney-Bridgey, Celyn Ensell-Bowen and teacher Mike Osborne.

Specially arranged train rides took place throughout the day on the Launceston Steam Railway courtesy of Deputy Head Teacher Lis Mann and her husband Jonathan.

There were tug of war competitions, cricket matches and an Alumni netball match which took place on the school’s new all-weather pitch.

Throughout the day, there was lots going on for all the family including school tours, face painting, circus skills, games, beer tent, BBQ, food stalls, to name a few. Something for everyone! Special thanks go to all those who helped make the event possible, Governors, staff and parents.

Later in the afternoon after Lis Mann had finished her train duties, she organised a Chamber Choir reunion in the marquee on the school field which was wonderful. A huge gathering of past and current pupils got together to sing some of their favourite songs.

The day events finished with an exciting duck race in the River Kensey!

The Friends of St Joseph’s School then took over the marquee and with a quick transformation the Centenary Ball took place! The marquee looked fabulous and the sun was still shining which meant arrival drinks could take place outside enjoying the view of the river. The silent auction and tree of promises was a huge success raising over £3,500 for the school. Thank you to all the local businesses who donated to this event. A special thank you must go to parent Sally Harvey who organised the event with her small team of volunteers.

Things have changed considerably at St Joseph’s over those 100 years and as part of the celebration we asked past pupils, present pupils and staff for their thoughts about ‘What St Joseph’s School means to me’ here are a few of the quotes;

Past pupil Di Snow: ‘I have very happy memories and I have St Joseph’s to thank for making me the independent person I am today’

Year 11 pupil Zola: ‘St Joseph’s has been my home for the past 13 years. It is a place where I have learned who I am, and has taught me everything I know. It has always supported me and for that I will be forever grateful. The people at St Joseph’s are my family and I will be sad leaving them behind when I start the next chapter of my life.’

Year 9 pupil Robert: ‘St Joseph’s is a place where everyone is treated equally and there is a special link between students, teachers and parents, which makes it a very safe and friendly place to be. All of the teachers want us to succeed in whatever we do.

Staff member Ruth: ‘I’m very lucky: I love coming to work. The umbrella of friendliness and kindness combined with hearing the children’s laughter makes it a fab place to be.’

The school would like to thank all who were involved in the celebrations and those who attended. We hope that the school will continue to thrive and go from strength to strength. More photos to follow soon…

Our Centenary Celebratins began today with the school welcoming back ex St Joseph’s pupils and teachers to tour the school and enjoy a yummy cream tea! It was lovely to see so many back at school catching up and reminiscing. Kathryn Warren (school librarian) with help from the alumni had set up a wonderful exhibition in the school hall full of wonderful memories.

Tomorrow…. Is the big day!! Do come along from 11am to 4pm to join in the school celebrations. With something for everyone including beer tent, choir reunion, bouncy castles, live music, and lots more. The duck race will be taking place at 3.15pm so don’t forget to buy your tickets … Just £1.

Train rides are still available… Turn up at the railway just before either 11am, 11.50 or 12.40 to enjoy a 30 minute journey with Mr and Mrs Mann! Mr Turner will be there to take your money and issue tickets!!

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Do remember no parking at the school site but school mini buses will be picking up throughout the day from homeleigh garden centre!

Don’t forget the Centenary Ball tomorrow evening, the Friends have been working hard setting up the marquee, it’s look lovely.

See you tomorrow to celebrate 100 years of St Joseph’s school! 

Dear Alumni,

St Joseph’s Centenary Celebrations 2015

It seems incredible for some of us OLD GIRLS, who attended St Joseph’s School long ago when it was a Convent, that 100 years have passed and many changes taken place. No longer run by Nuns and no longer being a boarding school. The important thing is that it remains St Joseph’s.

This year, the Centenary year, a great deal of deep thought and hard work has been done by the Head Teacher, staff and Friends of St Joseph’s School to make the celebrations a memorable affair. These celebrations are taking place on Friday and Saturday 3rd and 4th July. Tours of the school will take place on Friday 3rd July. On Saturday 4th July from 11am to 4pm there will be something for everyone such as sport matches, including an Alumni Match (netball), BBQ, Choir Reunion, Tug Of War, Family Games, Circus Skills Show, Beer Tent, Cream Teas, Childrens competitions, Face Painting, Duck Race, Live Music including the well-known Company B, Bouncy Castles and Soft Play. The Alumni will be manning a Pimms tent!

Entry is free. All past pupils are alerted that this will be a great opportunity to visit St Joseph’s School, see the changes that have taken place, catch up with old friends and witness the phenomenal success of the school academically, musically and in the field of sport.

We are seeking old photographs if anyone has some to spare. It is a good idea to put a date on the photograph and the names, if possible, of those whom the photograph has been taken.

This is a great opportunity for the Alumni to meet and learn how others are making their way in the great wide world. Please think about getting in touch with an old friend or two or bringing your family and coming along to this great event.

The Friends of St Joseph’s School are also hosting a Centenary Ball on the evening of 4th July. Tickets are selling quickly. To book your tickets please email centenaryball@stjosephscornwall.co.uk

The event programme can be found by visiting http://www.stjosephscornwall.co.uk/celebrating100years.html

Yours sincerely

Yvonne Tyrrell (nee Strike)
Chair of the St Joseph’s School Alumni
alumni@stjosephscornwall.co.uk