CelebraTINg the MountIN
Once again the St Aidan's community has exceeded all expectations with its generosity for this year's Harvest Festival fundraising project. We asked for tins, clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries for two worthy causes - Harrogate Homeless Project and St. George's Crypt in Leeds and we certainly got them; 4278 tins to be precise as well as bagfuls of the other essentials. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously, Mr Pocock - Charities Co-ordinator at the school spoke to both organisations who were staggered with the response from staff, students and parents and assured him everything will be put to very good use. Special thanks to Mr Brown of Aaztec Cubicles and his merry men who very kindly delivered all the donations to the two charities. For the second year, Maths teacher Mrs Hunter's form set a record for the number of tins donated - an amazing 533 this year! How will they better that next year?
Evita 25th - 29th November
Following on from the success of previous large scale school shows we have just over a month to go until this year's bold musical production, rehearsals are progressing well with a cast of students from Years 10 -13, with a fabulous support team of pupils working backstage to ensure this will once again be a truly memorable event.
Tickets are available through the main school office, please complete the order form and return it with a cheque in an envelope clearly marked with your child's name and form to the ticket box at reception..
The standard of play in the recent U18 Netball Area Tournament was very high and St. Aidan's really rose to the occasion. The B team finished second overall, beating Harrogate Grammar 9-2 and St. John Fisher 9-0, but losing 5-3 to Ashville. The A team's performance in every game was impressive and they fully deserved the overall result of Area Champions; they beat King James 18-2, Ripon Grammar 15-2, St John Fisher 15-3, Ashville 11-8, Harrogate Grammar 11-3, Queen Ethelburga's 12-8. They now go through to the County round of the National Schools' Netball Competition at Ashville on 8th November - we wish them well!
Congratulations to Isobel Davidson and Stephanie Jenkinson, Year 11 students who have been awarded the prestigious Arts Award from Trinity College.
Mr Wood presented the girls with their award which is given for taking part in arts activities, finding out about artists and their work and sharing personal experiences with others.
Vespers and Vespas
For the third time in 6 years, St Aidan's Sixth Form Chamber Choir embarked on a concert tour to Italy at the end of their studies in the summer term. The 50-strong choir, under their Director of Music, Mark Pallant, travelled to Tuscany and performed in Siena, Florence and Montecatini. During breaks in their performing schedule they visited the beautifully preserved home of the opera composer Puccini at Torre Del Lago, as well as Pisa and the picturesque town of San Gimignano. Their concert at the University Church in Siena, inducing music from Rachmaninov's Vespers, was prefaced by an impromptu performance on the steps of the church, alongside a row of iconic Vespa motorcycles, generating quite an audience. Another of the choir's concerts took place amidst the marble and fountains of the Spa buildings in Montecatini; appropriate for a student choir from Harrogate to perform in another elegant spa town. Mr Pallant said "for young singers to perform wonderful music in stunning buildings in the warm Italian summer is to store up musical memories which will stay with them for ever".
Success for Andrew
Andrew Mellor has obtained a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for this academic year 2014-2015. Andrew has played the clarinet for eight years and was last year in the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain. This is a magnificent achievement and the whole school is proud of him.
National Stage Success
Three former St Aidan’s students are celebrating this week after landing major stage roles in new productions this Autumn. The three students all studied Drama & Theatre Studies at St Aidan’s before going on to places at different top-flight drama schools across the country.
From sixth form, Joel Pitts trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and under his stage name as Joel Benedict he is performing in the major role of Eddie Lyons in the latest production of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, which kicked off its full UK tour in Cambridge earlier this month.
Verity Kirk, who trained at RADA [Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts] is starring as Mary Warren in Arthur Miller’s epic, The Crucible, which begins a one month run at The West Yorkshire Playhouse at the end of September.
Matt Johnson, whose equity name is Matthew Coulton, has landed the key role of John Darling in the Christmas production of Peter Pan at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. Matt studied at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Fran Bray, Head of Drama & Theatre Studies at St Aidan’s and drama teacher for all three students, said "They were all actively involved in St Aidan’s theatre productions, as well as studying our formal Drama & Theatre studies course. Gaining a place at any of the top Drama Schools requires outstanding natural talent and the academic rigour of A Level qualifications in the subject. To then go on and secure major acting roles is a brilliant achievement."
The trio appeared in numerous productions at St Aidan’s and on stage together in Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, and The History Of Tom Jones. Their success is the latest in a long tradition of careers in the creative arts for former Aidan’s alumni. Another former student, James MacCallum, has just won ‘actor of the year’ for his stage craft at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and Pete Allison continues to win national awards as a radio DJ.
Fran continued, "At St Aidan’s we have a reputation for supporting students as they pursue a career in the performing arts, so it is fantastic when we see results like this. I’m so proud of all of them."