Creative Arts

Creative Arts

Opportunities abound for pupils to pursue creative interests both within the curriculum and through the extensive co-curricular programme. Superb facilities supported by expert tuition provide the backbone for excellence within which pupils’ individual talents are nurtured and challenged. Take a look at our planned cultural trip to Venice and Verona 2020 by following this link

2017  Arts Festival Monday 19th to Wednesday 21st June.

A three-day Festival of arts events with performances, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, concerts and activities providing a stimulating three days to challenge and inspire.

Click the brochure below for more information.  Galleries here.

Welcome to Gedanken

The new ‘sciency musical’ Welcome to Gedanken is being performed by members of the school on 26th and 27th June at the Theatre Royal in Winchester.

The show involves about 50 pupils and staff and is very much in the tradition of the previous shows we have taken to Winchester and the Nuffield Theatre. The play, once again, is a farce with songs and science and is suitable for all ages. The action takes place, in part, in the fictional country of Gedanken – think Vulgaria in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang.

Recital prize win

Congratulations to Aelfred Hillman who has been awarded the recital prize as a result of his performance at the recent Portsmouth Music Festival Gala Concert. Aelfred will now present his debut recital on clarinet and saxophone as part of the 2018 Portsmouth Festivities.

Music cup win

Congratulations to Ellie Macleod who played two of her A Level piano pieces at The Southampton Music Festival on 12th March winning The Janet Sherbourne Cup (U18 piano) for her performance of Joachim Raff's ‘Romance'. She received very positive feedback from the adjudicator for both pieces she played. 

More Festival success

Congratulations to Ollie Schofield who achieved 1st place with Honours in the Musical Theatre 15 years & Under category at the Southampton Festival of Music and Drama. He was also placed 1st in the Open Song category and has subsequently been invited to perform his winning number at the end of Festival Concert at Thornden Hall. Well done Ollie!

Rhythmic Gymnastics success

It has been a busy time for KES pupils involved in Rhythmic Gymnastics. The Rhythmic South Gymnastics Awards Day 2017 was held on Saturday 4th March and a number of achievements were made. Rosie Dyer-Slade and Alice Turner-Hall both achieved the Rhythmic South Gymnastics Bronze award with Distinction and Alice also gained the Bronze medal in the age 11 group whilst Rosie was awarded the Silver medal in the age 12 group. This weekend also saw the British Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Seeding Championship where the girls finished a very respectable 18th.

Dual success at Portsmouth Festival

Well done to Erik and Aelfred Hillman who recently competed in the recent Portsmouth Music Festival winning all their classes.

Erik performed twice on trombone gaining distinctions in the Grades 7-8+ Examination Class and Classical Music Class and was awarded the Roberts Cup and the Pinkney Cup. Aelfred was awarded Honours for both his Grade 7-8+ clarinet performances winning the Goodmans trophy and Joan Swift trophy. He also gained distinction for his saxophone playing in the Grades 7-8+ Jazz Class and winning the Marley trophy.

In addition, Aelfred was awarded the Zurich trophy for the 'Best Overall U18 Performance' and the Karen cup for the player demonstrating the most musicanship and versatility across the genres. As a result he has been invited to perform at next month's Gala Concert at The Kings Theatre where he will compete for either the 'Portsmouth Festivities Recital' or the 'Solent Symphony Concerto' prize for 2018. We wish him the best of luck.

Success at Southampton Music and Drama Festival

Congratulations to Sophia Bassi who entered two classes in this month's Southampton Festival of Music and Drama. She achieved 1st place with a distinction and won The Miss Elsie Coles Memorial Cup in the U12 Piano 20/21st Century including Jazz Class and has been invited to perform her winning performance 'Over the Rainbow' at the end of Festival Concert. Sophia also achieved 2nd place with distinction with her clarinet in the Solo Class: Any Woodwind Instrument, Grades 6 - 7.


Chamber Choir workshop

On Thursday 9th March the Chamber Choir welcomed David Hurley, former member of the King's Singers, a world-famous a cappella group, to run a workshop on their pieces for the Turner Sims Concert. In the workshop students were encouraged to move outside of their comfort zones away from the need for a conductor, building confidence as individuals to take collective responsibility for the performance. The experience was inspirational and informative as well as being enjoyed by all.

Success at Music Festival

Congratulations to Sophie Wu who competed in the piano section in the Portsmouth Music Festival during half-term achieving some outstanding results. 

Classical (Grades 6-7 pieces): Distinction, 1st in Class
Romantic (13 - 15 years): Distinction
Duet class (13 -15 years): Distinction, 1st in Class

Piano Masterclass

In the first week after half-term pianist Niel Immelman, teacher at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy, visited KES to offer a masterclass to some of our senior pianists. His work with the participants, Maya Garside, Joe Arthur, Sophia Bassi and Alex Zhou, who all played beautifully, was inspirational and demanding and left them with much to think about. Many other talented KES pianists attended as observers and through Niel’s knowledge and experience gained an intriguing insight into some advanced music and many interesting nuances of piano technique.

Lower School Music Concert

On the Wednesday before half-term, the first of this term's two Spring Concerts was held in the Main Hall. The evening saw over one hundred young musicians from the Lower School, supported by some of our Fourth Year pupils, play a programme of lively items to a packed auditorium. Many parents commented on the lovely atmosphere and high standard of musicianship.

Chamber Choir sing at Romsey Abbey

On Thursday evening the KES Chamber Choir joined Romsey Abbey Choir to sing evensong at the Abbey.  The combined voices produced a beautiful rendition of Noble's 'Magnificat' and Edgar's 'Give unto the Lord' for the congregation.

City Art Gallery Recital

On Thursday lunchtime, Sixth Form Music A Level students performed at Southampton's Art Gallery.  They showcased their A Level recital pieces to the public ahead of their forthcoming examinations.

Dance Gala

On Wednesday 8th February, KES dancers from across the whole school came together to perform a glittering ‘Dance Gala’ in the Dance Studio. The evening was a sell-out success and showcased the School’s many talented dancers in various styles including Tap, Contemporary, Ballet and Irish Dance. The evening also saw the debut performance from the new KES ‘Elevate Dance Company’. The pupils have been hard at work choreographing their pieces and they all performed brilliantly. Congratulations to all who danced!

KES Annual Music Competition

Congratulations to all sixty-seven musicians who performed in the annual Music Competition on Tuesday 7th February. This year the standard was extremely high and Dr Carrasco, the adjudicator, commented on how well prepared the players were and the impressive range of music on offer. Thank you to Mr Belassie for providing the piano accompaniment for all pupils.

The results were:

Grade 1-3
Winner: Maya Chakraboryty
Runners up: Huw Dunlop and Beth Robinson

Grade 4-6
Winner: Alex Zhou
Runners up: Ankit Nambiar and Oliver Schofield

Pro Corda National Chamber Music Competition

On Friday 3rd February, three students participated in the regional rounds of the National Chamber Music Competition at Godolphin School. The Woodwind Trio, with Tom Edwards and Eva Carlyle playing flute and Aelfred Hillman on clarinet, performed 'Aubade' by Gordon Jacob to a very high standard in front of adjudicator Laura Kinnesey, and a receptive audience, before receiving a masterclass on their piece.  The results of the competition mean that the trio will now progress to the semi-final.  Well done!

Drama Scholars perform 'The Ash Girl'.

Last night the School's drama scholars performed Timberland Wertenbaker's play, 'The Ash Girl' in The Twigg Studio.  'The Ash Girl' premiered at Birmingham Rep in 2001 and explores the beauty and terror inherent in growing up.  Congratulations to all those who took part for a thoughtful and moving interpretation of the play.

Music Trip to London

Last Wednesday thirty KES GCSE and A level musicians enjoyed a bright, crisp sunny day in London where they had a fascinating backstage tour of Covent Garden Opera House, visited the National Gallery to look at eight significant masterpieces, watched street theatre in Covent Garden over lunch and listened to the London Mozart Players perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 16 with soloist Howard Shelley at St John’s Smith Square. All in all a top quality and action-packed cultural day.

Workshop with Tom Seligman

The musical year got off to an exciting start with a workshop from our visiting musical advisor and consultant Tom Seligman. Tom is an English conductor who made his Royal Ballet debut in 2010 conducting a double programme of Peter and the Wolf / Tales of Beatrix Potter at Covent Garden.  He is in demand as a choral conductor and has worked extensively with the BBC and London Symphony Choruses, was chorus master for the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado at the BBC Proms and was Guest Chorus Director for the Hallé’s Gramophone Award-winning recording of 'The Kingdom'.

During his visit to KES Fourth Year GCSE pupils worked with Tom on aspects of their Concerto topic, while Sixth Form A Level musicians enjoyed an active conducting workshop on Beethoven's 'Eroica Symphony'. Tom also worked with musicians on A Level recital repertoire in a series of excellent performance classes.

KES pupil plays for National Children's Orchestra

Congratulations to Third Year pupil and trombonist Erik Hillman who has been offered a place in the U14 main National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain for 2017.  This is a very impressive achievement and Erik will be performing at venues throughout the UK including Birmingham's Symphony Hall and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

KES Advent Concert

A very appreciative audience was entertained and delighted by the Chamber Choir, soloists, instrumentalists and readers at the Advent Concert directed by Irene Anderson - a new aspect of our growing relationship with the community at St Nicolas' Church, Stoneham. Choral music from the twentieth century included a moving performance of Britten's 'Ceremony of Carols', Tavener's 'The Lamb' and Warlock's rousing 'Benedicamus Domino' sending us on our way towards Christmas, but not without first enjoying hospitality at the Wellington Sports Ground next door.


Success at Music Festival

Sophie Wu participated in the Gosport Music Festival on Saturday 12th November.  She entered two classes: Romantic piano solo under 14 and Classical piano solo under 14. Sophie achieved a distinction (88 marks) for both pieces and was awarded first place in both classes.  Well done!

Concert trip to Kings Place

Sixth Form musicians enjoyed a first-class chamber music concert at London’s Kings Place on 10th November. The concert, given by the Schubert Ensemble, began with one of the Ensemble’s highly-acclaimed ‘Behind the Notes’ sessions, in which they explored the Piano Quintets of Franck and Fauré, using live performance to strip down the music and reveal its inner workings. This was followed by a full performance of the works which left the Sixth Formers completely inspired.

London Mozart Players and KES String Day

On Wednesday 12th October the School hosted an exciting string-playing day with the London Mozart Players, KES string players and 110 young string players from eight partnership and prep schools. The day focused on technique and musicianship and the important skills required to play in a large string orchestra. Following several workshops during the morning, the combined players presented a lively afternoon concert to parents. Repertoire included pieces from Grieg’s 'Holberg Suite', Bartok Rumanian Dances and Warlock’s 'Capriol Suite'. The junior pupils joined the core orchestra to play a number of Jigs and Reels which took the total of string players to 167! It was a wonderful day of music-making.

London Latin Jazz Festival

KES A Level musicians recently enjoyed an excellent evening at Soho's Pizza Express Jazz club listening to the infectious Latin rhythms of nine piece Cuban band Son Con. The band fuses the elements of traditional Son with an exciting modern vibe. During the evening, and after Pizza, the Sixth Formers took to the dance floor for a spot of Latin dancing.

Alice in Wonderland

The much loved classic tale of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, which has been adapted by Simon Reade, provided an entertaining, thrilling and at times bonkers show for audiences to enjoy last week.  Pupils in the Lower School performed this delightful piece that was directed and choreographed by the KES Drama and Dance departments.

Music Competition results 2016

On Wednesday 15th June, following a wonderful day of top quality music making, and over sixty entries, the results of the Music Competition were as follows:

Grade I-III
Winner: Anoushka Umranikar
Runner up: Huw Dunlop

Grade IV-VI
Winner: Linus Etchingham
Runners up: Erik Hillman and Alex Hopkins-Manceri

Grade VII+ 
Winner: Eleanor Dunlop
Runners up: Chris Lotery and Aelfred Hillman

Trombone success

Following a recent audition at the end of last term, Second Year pupil, Erik Hillman, has been offered a place to study trombone at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department. Erik was invited to audition following a recent National Children's Orchestra residential course and beat off some very stiff competition. He will now travel to London every Saturday for a full day of music making with some of the countries leading musicians.

Gold certificate for Music Department

The Music Department is celebrating being awarded the ISM’s (Incorporated Society of Musicians) Gold certificate in music in 2016.  It has been awarded for the excellent results in GCSE music last year. More than 20% of the Fifth Year cohort at KES achieved an A*-C in GCSE music, which placed the School 37th in 5,000 Schools across England. The data highlights the reach of music within the School and whilst the ISM award was for schools with A*- C grades the whole KES Music cohort produced 100% A*/A grades.

Well done to all students for this outstanding achievement.