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Harvest Festival 2014

Tins, sleeping bags, toiletries, socks and pants. Not the traditional list of Harvest Festival goods, but that's what we're asking you to donate, please, ahead of the school's Harvest Festival service, which will be held in the Constance Green Hall at St Aidan's at 7.30pm next Tuesday 7th October.

Items are taken to St George's Crypt in Leeds and the Harrogate Homeless Project. We also invite you to make a donation at the service for Christian Aid's Syrian Appeal - or you can do this on line at

This year however, there is a difference. We are no longer asking for tins for the Tin Tower. Instead, we are asking children to get collecTIN and donaTIN for the MounTIN! Over 10,000 tins have been brought TIN to school in the last two years. That is four times as many as we used to receive annually before the collection was made an inter-form compeTINtion.

To make the race to the top of the MounTIN more exciTIN, Form Tutors have been photographed in full climbing gear belonging to Physics teacher and former Antarctic explorer Mr Crane. Their pictures are stuck at base Camp at the foot of the MounTIN (designed by Art teachers Miss Hurdle and Miss Porritt) in the Entrance Hall. The more tins tutees bring in, the higher their photo will climb.

The current World Record for an individual form is 468 tins, set last year held by Mrs Hunter's current 9E. We will, of course, bring you this year's total and winning Form.

Finally, a massive thank you to all parents and pupils from the Charity Committee for all the support you give the school's campaigns and appeals. Last academic year we raised over £36,000 for a wide range of charities. The last whole school charity event of the year was the Sponsored Walk, which raised £6,045.66 (excluding Gift Aid) to buy water filters for the HG1000 campaign.

Once again, many thanks on behalf of that charity, the school and all those you've helped

Arts Award


Arts Award

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.



Tuscany tour

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"



Shoemaker & the King

The Shoemaker and the King - St Aidan's Community Chorus - 22nd October 2014

Following the success in recent years of performances of The Armed Man, Faure’s Requiem, Carmina Burana and two Coronation Anthems, St Aidan’s Community Chorus reforms in the Autumn for an exciting concert, performing two pieces, one brand new and the other a great favourite.  Celebrated composer Philip Wilby, former St Aidan’s parent, and Ian McMillan, Barnsley poet and broadcaster, have collaborated in an excellent new piece, “The Shoemaker and the King” about the discovery of the remains of King Richard III in a Leicester car park. We have been offered the opportunity of the second only performance of this, the first being in Leicester Cathedral in July. Ian and Phil will be our celebrity guests to assist with the performance at St Peter’s Church, Harrogate on Wednesday evening October 22nd. We will also be singing John Rutter’s well-known “Gloria”.  Tickets, £8 and £5 (concessions) are available from school reception or online (booking fee applies). Click on the image for more information.

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.

Joel Pitts


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


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.

Matthew Johnson

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."

Calling All Performers!


We are looking for actors, dancers and singers as well as costume makers, make-up artists and technicians to take part in a major musical production of Evita by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice in November 2014. Evita tells the story of how a young girl escapes poverty to become the most powerful woman in her country adored by the masses and hated by the rich. With big musical numbers, dance scenes with a tango and salsa twist and some of musical theatres most dramatic moments, Evita is a show that will stir audiences' hearts and leave them shouting for more! Look up some of the most famous songs on YouTube such as 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall', 'A New Argentina' and 'The Money Kept Rolling In'.

There is a large ensemble in this production that will play a large variety of characters. If you would like to be involved in what will be the year's biggest showpiece production then please sign up to audition and be prepared to act, sing or dance your way to the top. You can also express an interest in joining the wonderful backstage crew to create costumes, make-up or technical effects.

Shakespeare Schools FestivalShakespeare

Twelfth Night rock 'n' roll style (apologies to Mr Shakespeare!) is another exciting project, taking place in October 2014. We will be performing an abridged version of this famous Shakesperean comedy.Thank you to everyone who has auditioned, the standard has been incredibly high - it has not been an easy job! Click on the links below:

Casting Notice Cast List