Orchestra Drawing School
Orchestra
For the past four years instrumental lessons have been running in the school under the guidance of Mr. Byrne. Over this period an average of about forty people have been taking lessons, although this number has varied over the four years.

Vacancies exist for tuition on the following instruments:- flute, oboe, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, bass, and pianists, of Grade Ill or upwards, would be welcome in the percussion section. Lessons may be arranged through the Director Of Music for a weekly subscription of 25p to the Lesson Fund. The eight teachers mentioned above put in a normal minimum of eighteen hours a week teaching a current total of about forty pupils.

In March sixteen boys took Graded instrumental examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Of these, two passed with Distinction and six with Credit, being slightly higher in standard, and slightly less nervous on the day, than the other eight who all achieved results not to be scoffed at. Most of the forty pupils have at some time or another passed graded examinations ranging between Grades I and VI, out of the possible range of Grade I to VIll.

To emphasise the high standard attained by members of the orchestra, apart from the Christmas Carol services of the past, with two choirs, one of fifty and one of thirty-five boys, the orchestra, organ, congregation and soloists, members of the orchestra have played elsewhere - eight brass players formed the stage band for the Cecilian Players' production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe" at the Questors Theatre, Ealing; four woodwind and four brass instrumentalists joined the Cecilian Players choir and our own school choir at the Questors Theatre just before Christmas 1970 for a carol concert; the music from the original National Theatre production of "Royal Hunt of the Sun" was played for the school product ion; music was provided for the school's production of "Oh! What a Lovely War" at Easter 1971, as well as for the rehearsals; and Michael Glover played second horn, amongst an orchestra of professional musicians, in the school production of "H. M.S. Pinafore".

Over the past four years, at a glance, I found a total of 1,560 which had been spent on instruments by parents, normally only too keen to encourage a constructive hobby. The real total, including tuition costs, is believed to be between 2,500 and 3,000. This is a very impressive figure when compared with the Council grant towards musical instruments which was raised in 1970 to a total of 600 a year to be divided between 97 primary and 20 secondary schools, under 6 per year per school.

The school orchestra has, for the past two years, been meeting every Monday evening from 4.00-5.30. Small, ad hoc ensembles meet from time to time for mutual enjoyment and it is hoped that as they progress more such activities will be heard.

All of this is due to the efforts of Mr. Byrne who is always willing to guide, advise and coach us. He would also be only too pleased, I imagine to add to the numbers of those seeking his time and assistance.

P. Rodger

Note from the Director of Music:
The writer of the above was too modest to mention the fact that Michael Bennett and himself rehearsed and performed the music for the production.

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