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:

Oxford Music Festival 2016

Over 100 Dragons have recently taken part in an array of classes at the Oxford Music Festival, gaining many excellent reports and commended performances. Congratulations to all the children and teachers who worked hard to prepare for this annual event. We had some fantastic results:

• Harry Stuart won the 11 years and under Clarinet Solo Class

• The Dragon School Piano Quartet won the 9 years and under Chamber Ensemble Class

• The Dragon School String Quartet won the 12 years and under Chamber Ensemble Class

• Henry Rose and Cosmo de Bono won the 12 years and under Piano Duet Class

• Nick Pothikamjorn and Ko Uchida won the 15 years and under Piano Duet Class.

Stowe School Visit

On Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, Stowe School visited the Dragon Year 4 Wind and Brass Band for a rehearsal and to give them a history of instruments through the ages. It was wonderful for the children to be playing alongside some more advanced musicians and it brought the blend of their sound together. They also had the opportunity to work on some improvisation techniques and incorporated these into the band performance. They created instruments out of hosepipe and mouthpieces and experimented with different lengths and shapes of tubing.

Stowe School Visit

Introducing our New Head of Strings

Sean GildeSean Gilde

Sean Gilde studied ‘cello with Christopher Bunting and at the Birmingham Conservatoire with Ulrich Heinen, where he graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree and the ABSM Performance and ABSM Recital Diplomas. Having continued his studies with William Conway, he was a founding member of the Astaria and Almira String Quartets and is joint artistic director of the Chamber Music @ Worcester Festival.

As the ‘cellist with the Astaria String Quartet, he has performed at festivals, for music societies and has also broadcast live for Classic FM and BBC Radio 4, as well as working for the Council for Music in Hospitals and Live Music Now! The Quartet has toured regularly including Scotland for Enterprise Music Scotland, the Argyll and Bute Concert Tours and by invitation, for the National Federation of Music Societies Music Club circuit. They were invited to participate in the International Music Seminars Prussia Cove and have released their Album of Latin American Music, ‘Fiesta!’.

Solo projects have included the UK premiere of ‘Imago’ for solo ‘cello by F. M. Beyer as part of a touring exhibition of the Blackboard Drawings by Rudolf Steiner, as well as projects with Darkin Dance, most notably ‘Parabolic’ for the Brunel 200 Celebrations in Bristol and ‘Up Close’, a UK contemporary dance tour for Dance South West.

He is active as a freelance musician and plays on a French 'cello by Collin-Mezin from 1902.

BAT Choral Day

Fifty children from the Blackbird Academy Trust Schools joined forces with the Dragon’s Middle School Choir and ten professional musicians, to perform some jazz influenced choral repertoire in four part harmony. The children rehearsed together in the morning to perfect the songs It Don’t Mean a ThingPuttin’ on the RitzJava Jive and Chattanooga Choo Choo in two part harmony which they mastered well. After lunch, they were treated to a close harmony performance by ten professional singers whose repertoire ranged from Pop to Classical and they sang Blackbird by The Beatles, especially for our visitors. The final performance was outstanding as children and adults blended together in song and the children should be proud of what they achieved.

BAT Choral Day

Peter and the Wolf

On Thursday, 30 September, 2015, all of Year 3 were lucky enough to attend a concert at the beautiful Holywell Music Rooms as part of the Oxford Chamber Music Festival. World-class musicians share their music with an Oxford audience annually and it was wonderful for the children to enjoy quality chamber music making and to experience the energy and communication between musicians. The children were taken on a fantastic musical adventure; an improvised re-telling ofAlice in Wonderland. Characters were magically brought to life by the strings, flute and piano, and the superb narration of Paul Ansdell. This was followed by a stunning and characterful performance of Peter and the Wolf. The children were thrilled to be given the opportunity to try and produce a noise on the bassoon, which had so strikingly portrayed the part of the Grandfather.

Peter and the Wolf