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Drama Department Update

29th January 20

Spotlight on Performing Arts

By Suzanne Millington

The performing arts department is such a happy place for me to spend my days with excellent and dedicated staff and pupils that surprise and delight us every day with their achievements and progress.

There is so much for young performers to do on a weekly basis in key stage 3 arts classes and GCSE and A level drama and music, as well as a full programme of extra-curricular activities to develop performing skills and build lasting friendships through show work, music ensembles and drama skills clubs.

Every week on Tuesday mornings we join our singers together for choir practice which gets us ready for the day by enhancing our mood and waking up the senses ready for learning.  Our choir has an enviable reputation in the local community and throughout Spain in international schools – This summer we hope to take part in a choir festival in the UK combined with a show club/GCSE and A level theatre trip and  workshops– details will be given to students in the coming week.  We will also participate as in previous years in the Costa Blanca choir festival in Alfas del Pi.

After school activities

Music Mondays

In addition to the rock club we would like to welcome any student wanting to make music to the Monday jam session where they can explore the different instruments such as saxophone, clarinet, guitar, strings and keyboards as well as singers and form ensembles for performance work.

Tuesdays – Extra GCSE music class

This class is designed to introduce year 8 and 9 learners to GCSE music and to give key stage 4 musicians a chance to study for an extra GCSE and continue with their music studies that may not fit into their chosen GCSE programme.

Wednesdays – Junior LAMDA

LAMDA examinations are offered twice a year to measure progress in performance and communication skills. There will be a cost for this examination should your child wish to take part. This club aims to prepare children for these exams.

Performing Arts club- Thursdays

A fun skills class to develop acting group work and monologue study. The club benefits from combining all senior ages so that the older more experienced young actors can mentor our younger performers. LAMDA examinations in acting are taught through this class.

Show Club – Fridays 15.30 – 17:00

On Fridays our show company have  a blast creating performance work for our two shows a year.   Show rehearsals develop amazing team skills and a joy of the theatre. After the incredible success of ELF at Christmas we are now working on our next show which will feature some of the best Rock musicals such as Hamilton, Freaky Friday, An American Idiot, Grease, High School Musical and more. Company members will all have their chance to shine and also experience production roles in lighting sound and stage management in our fully equipped theatre space.

It was a pleasure this week to meet with a representative of the charity supporting the Preventorio de Gandia children’s home and present them with the proceeds of our audience collection from ELF which raised 300 euros. Thank you to all those who donated for the children who we support through various school activities throughout the year.

LAMDA and ASSOCIATED BOARD OF MUSIC

I was responsible in 1993 for introducing LAMDA examinations into Spain and have remained in the position of representative for LAMDA throughout the last 27 years. We enter over 100 children for examinations every year in the subjects of acting, musical theatre, speaking of verse and prose and public speaking and their results are an incredible achievement. Primary age learners can access the LAMDA programme through the Wednesday after school club and senior lessons take place within the curriculum and after school. Past students who have worked their way through the grades regularly keep in touch giving examples of how this development of communication skills has helped them in their further studies and working life.

Pollyanna Cohen was our head girl and has now qualified as a doctor…. she sent me the following testimonial:

I am a doctor working at a London hospital. Throughout my school career I was expertly trained by my fantastic performing arts teacher, Suzanne Millington, for many LAMDA examinations, culminating in the LAMDA Performance Certificate (distinction). The skills I learnt from my LAMDA training have been invaluable throughout my career and in my daily life. In interviews for medical school, I was either directly asked about or drew upon my experience in the performing arts. Indeed, I highlighted my LAMDA training requirements of excellent communication, teamwork, management skills and teaching skills. At university I have endeavoured to continue my work in the arts – acting in, producing and directing theatre of a diverse range of genres and in a variety of venues – from small pub theatres to international festival debuts. In the past during my time at medical school and in my working life now, I regularly use the skills learnt through my LAMDA training – communicating with team members, patients and empathising wholly on a day-to-day basis. I’ve presented my published research at world conferences, taught over 300 medical students in one sitting and voiced my opinion in small group work without a shred of fear – I feel very lucky to have been trained through LAMDA to achieve this confidence. Performing arts will always be an important passion of mine and I feel so privileged to have had the brilliant LAMDA training as a springboard to my successes and enjoyment now

Music exams are a positive  way of measuring progress and setting goals for young musicians and we have supported our students through the peripatetic music programme for exams up to grade 8 in piano, clarinet, saxophone, violin, guitar,  drums and singing. Sessions take place twice a year at school.  Get in touch if your child would like to take up a musical instrument, we have several instruments to hire to make lessons more accessible for all.

Congratulations to ….

Ellie B Grade 1 clarinet – primary

Nik S Grade 2 saxophone – secondary

Marisa G Grade 4 Piano -secondary.

Performances open to parents family and friends

We have plenty of opportunities planned in the coming months to welcome our community into our lovely theatre. Look out for information of dates for our monologue slam , poetry slam , student performances of plays for GCSE and A level, musical concerts as well as the show company’s  summer performance and our primary musical theatre club who will present A Night at The Musicals.

All  performances are free entry and we welcome the whole of the LES community and beyond to delight in the talents of our young performers.

For any information on the many creative activities available for your children at The Lady Elizabeth School, please do not hesitate to contact me s.millington@laudelayelizabeth.com