Music School News (Prep and Pre-Prep)
We aim to provide an enjoyable and engaging musical experience for our pupils through a broad curriculum, instrumental lessons, ensembles programme and extra-curricular activities. Keep up to date with our latest news here:
The Dragon summer concert was another showcase for the extraordinary musical talent of the Dragon.
The evening, punctuated by loud and enthusiastic applause, was entertaining, joyful and uplifting. Big Band and Concert Band, the School Choir and Idris Choir, Piano Trio (junior and senior), Saxophone quartet (junior and senior), String quartet (junior and senior), Dragonetti Strings, the Baroque Ensemble and the Jazz Ensemble all took part.
The programme was as varied and challenging as ever. The concert opened with highlights from Fiddler on the Roof and Live and Let Die, and finished with the Dragon School Choir’s rendition of Waterloo and Thank You for the Music.
Music varied from Bach and Mozart, to Joni Mitchell and Abba. Richmond and Thyme’s performance of Praeludium and Allegro by Fritz Kreisler was utterly astonishing.
Everyone performed with such energy and focus and it was another marvellous musical highlight of the year.
Dragon Spring Concert
The Dragon School’s ‘Songs for Spring’ concert, held on Monday, 21st April, at Cadogan Hall, London, was a joyful celebration of Dragon music and poetry on World Poetry Day. Over 400 parents, Old Dragons and other guests came to support the 132 children taking part. The Dragon School Choir and Idris Choir, Dragon School Big Band and Concert Band, Saxophone quartets, Piano Ensembles and Trios, Strings quartets, Dragonetti’s strings and harp ensemble all took part. The children enjoyed performing on the same stage that had recently been graced with the Cadogan Hall’s resident orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with violinist Matthew Trusler, the internationally renowned Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Vasily Petrenko and the Mariinsky orchestra with Valery Gergiev. Thanks to Max Horsey at Radley College, you may now view and listen to an edited video with highlights from the evening.
IAPS Music News
The ‘Inspire-Create-Compose’ series by Jack Hardman, created for the Independent Association of Prep Schools website, outline how teachers can weave technology into music lessons. This edition features a case study from The Dragon School.
Jack writes , “… Vicky Savage has studied and taught at some of the most prestigious schools in the UK and now heads up music at the Dragon School in Oxford. Boasting instrumental lesson uptakes that are bigger than many entire schools, Vicky has the challenging task of managing a department that is both huge in size and high on ambition.”
Vicky explains music technology can act as, “a way of engaging with all children and ensures differentiation is kept at the heart of the curriculum; it can also help to bring more reserved children out of their shells.” Read the full article here.
Dragon Philharmonic Strings Day
On Tuesday, 8th March 2016, children from Wolvercote, St Andrew’s, St Barnabas and the Blackbird Academy Trust – Orchard Meadow, Pegasus School and Windale - joined children of the Dragon School for a one day Dragon Philharmonic Strings project.
This outreach project, hosted by the Dragon, brought young strings players together to make music and to develop their sight-reading, improvisation and ensemble playing skills. Professional musicians from both the Dragon and Oxford Philharmonic led a series of performance workshops with small groups of pupils. All the pupils then came to together for an outstanding group performance which included elements of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Parents and grandparents attended the performance which conveyed the energy and enthusiasm of the players. It was so uplifting to hear excerpts from the Four Seasons played with such assurance and conviction after a relatively short rehearsal time and it was evident from the children’s smiles, that they were as pleased with the result as the audience.
A Year 4 pupil commented:
"It was an exciting experience! A great opportunity to find out about how it felt to be in an orchestra; in a team all working together, to meet other people you might not know. It felt like a new family and you made new memories."
Big Band Visits Orchard Meadow
On Friday, 5th February 2016, Big Band visited Orchard Meadow School to perform some of their current repertoire and favourite songs to Years 3, 4 and 5. Mr Smith introduced the ensemble and the range of instruments before they performed songs such as Heard it through the Grapevine and Mercy Mercy.
The Saxophone Quartet also performed a song which allowed time for the different sizes of saxophone to be introduced and their names explained – soprano, alto, tenor and bass – which were related to the voice types.
The performance ended with a rendition of Tequila which involved all the children shouting 'Tequila'. A few Orchard Meadow children were then invited to come and join in the percussion section. It was a wonderful afternoon of music-making and we were privileged to have performed to such an enthusiastic audience.