Framlingham College Choir Tour: Prague 2013

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The Choir toured to Prague in February half term and took with it 40 students, 8 staff, and a versatile and interesting programme for the Czech public to enjoy.

SONY DSCThe tour started with a Mass at St. Vitus Cathedral and upon arriving at the impressive building, we were told that we were the first British Choir to be allowed to sing Mass at the Cathedral in nearly 2 years; some accolade! We sung 4 anthems appropriate to Mass and the Choir sang beautifully in freezing conditions to a very appreciative and respectful congregation. At the end of the service, we were allowed to perform a 15 minute recital and it was noted that many of those who enjoyed the service and stayed afterwards, were Tourists who had travelled across Prague to be a part of the service and hear the Choir.

SONY DSCAfter the service, we were treated to a guided tour through the beautiful city and allowed to enjoy some local goulash as well – highly recommended in the cold conditions!

Next day, we travelled to Pisek (a small town an hour and a half away) where we performed in Trinity Church. We were delighted to be joined by former student Christina Johnston who currently sings with the National Theatre and Prague State Opera. She sang Eternal Source of Light Divine with the Director of Music Tim Rhodes accompanying on Baraque Trumpet and tour accompanist Geoff Lavery playing the organ continuo. She then sang Mozart’s Laudate Dominum with the choir accompanying her. It was a real treat for both Students and audience that Christina was able to give of her time to come and sing with the College Choir. The Choir sang superbly and we returned to our hotel delighted with our efforts so far.

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The final concert was at the Chapel Korunni in Prague, and an audience of 250 packed the church to listen to a repeat of the previous night’s programme. This included the entire Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten who we are celebrating the centenary of his birth this year. Accompanied beautifully by our visiting harp teacher Helen Sharp, the choir performed magnificently and the audience were generous in applause and feedback afterwards.

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After the concert, we were treated to a local folk evening with dancing and music in the local Brewery. The food and refreshment was fantastic, and everyone spent the evening reminiscing about the concerts and experiences enjoyed whilst on the tour.

The Choir returned to the UK after a tough, tiring, but thoroughly cultural, memorable and successful tour; the first of its kind in years.

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My thanks to the staff and students for making it a tour to remember! Here’s to the next one!

Mr Tim Rhodes, Director of Music

New Music Technology A-Level course commences

Music takes on an exciting new look this year as we see the launch of the A Level Music Technology course.

Currently seven students have chosen to study the course and much excitement has filtered through the department as they use the most up-to-date equipment and resources.

The department now boasts a music sequencing suite, equipped with eight top of the range iMacs running the composition programme “Logic”, as well as a first class recording studio (featuring a Midas Venice mixing console twinned with a Mac Pro) and adjacent Live Room; both of which have been acoustically treated and sound proofed.

The recording studio is also connected to the entire building allowing students to record concerts in the Recital Hall and Headmaster Porter Theatre to a professional standard, as well as their own musical ventures.

The Recital Hall has also had a revamp, with a new Interactive Smart Board as well as updated computers and software, meaning that all students can benefit from the College’s new Music Facilities.

Staff Piano +1

Several months ago, we reported that brave students had agreed to teach their musical instruments to members of staff, and on Monday the fruits of everyone’s labours were displayed in a special Staff Piano + 1.  Considerable anxiety was very much in evidence in the staffroom prior to the event, indicated by nervous laughter, puffing out of cheeks, mutterings of ‘why did I agree to this?’ etc, but the audience was treated to an enjoyable and impressive 45 minutes of performances.  Pupils might well have been interested to see their teachers looking less comfortable than normal; staff were reminded that performance is not easy, but despite the nerves they all enjoyed putting themselves through the experience.  Many thanks must go to the pupils who showed patience and skill in their teaching, and to Mimi O’Neill who had the idea and organised everyone superbly!

Mrs Alvis (voice)                Alice Mead

Miss Tooth (piano)            Emily Higgins

Mr Hoyle (saxophone)      John Southworth

Mrs Hardman (piano)      Rachel Kwok

Miss Cranmer (harp)        Amelia Oliver

Mrs Webber (piano)          Cesi Del Rio McDermott

Mrs Myers-Allen (soprano saxophone)    John Southworth

Ms de Luis (piano)             Kitty Dunham

Miss Leaphard (flute)        Emily Heldreich

Mr Edwards (flute)            Tom Hampson

Ms Englert (voice)

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The mathematics and physics of music

Students in the two Year 10 music classes had the opportunity to see the notes they were singing and playing in a lesson looking at the patterns and waves that make up musical notes. This was a cross curricular lesson bringing together music, mathematics, physics and a little biology and psychology.

They looked at the harmonics on a vibrating string, slowed down with a stroboscope, and heard how a sound could be made by mixing sinewaves at harmonic frequencies. With an oscilloscope and a microphone they saw the shape of the sound waves from their voices, and a wide range of musical instruments. At the same time they saw a frequency spectrum showing the balance of different harmonics so they could compare the different instruments and see the difference between their voices, including how they change with volume and timbre in real time. A last challenge was to see if they could sing or play an ‘A’ in tune at 440Hz.

In GCSE Music one of the Musical Elements pupils have to learn about is Timbre and Dynamics and it was felt that learning about the Physics of Music was a great way of helping pupils understand how it all worked.

A fun morning was had by all the year 10 Music Students with the help of Physics teacher, Max Taylor and Director of Music, Tim Rhodes.

GCSE Music

Twenty two Year 10 students studying for GCSE Music took part in a peer performance in class yesterday. Ranging from Baroque composers to songs from the shows, this was the practice run for the AQA GCSE Unit 3, where students prepare one solo piece, and one group piece, worth 40% of the final assessment in Year 11. The standards were high, and a valuable set of performance skills were discovered, particularly in the relationship between composer-performer-listener.

Freya Roy featured on BBC Look East

Freya’s debut album ‘Wait in the Water‘ is due for release in June . . .

Fifteen-year old Framlingham College student, Freya Roy, was featured on the BBC’s Look East regional news programme on Monday (21st May).

Freya, who lives in Halesworth is known for gigging regularly with her atmospheric indie/folk style of music. Her debut album, Wait in the Water, is due for release in June.

You can keep up to date with all of Freya’s news at facebook.com/freyaroymusic.

View the full Look East report on our Facebook page here.

Watch the full length video of the track here.

Paul Taylor, Headmaster: ‘Freya is a very real young talent who has proved herself time and again to be both an original and an exciting performer. She works relentlessly at her art, and this has shown through in some live performances of rare quality in one so young. All at the College are hugely proud of her.’

Gifted Youngsters hit the right notes (EADT)

On Sunday 6th May, Framlingham College put on a tremendous concert in its mock-Gothic chapel where the new Allen Chapel series organ was really put through its paces, supported by a terrific brass group as more than backing for the College’s choral society. The concert had a patriotic and bombastic theme, an early celebration of the royal jubilee, and if Albert’s ghost lives in his statue in front of the College, he would have had a thoroughly entertaining evening.

The concert opened with Parry’s ‘I was glad’ with full vivats, and the later performance of ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’ did full justice to Milton’s voice and verse. The string orchestra dashed off the Capriol Suite, a brass group played 2 short pieces from Julius Caesar by Handel, and the full orchestra raised the roof in the last movement of Saint-Saens’ organ symphony with Mr Hutchings impressing us all with his considerable keyboard skills.

The concert ended with Rutter’s Gloria, with the full choir giving its all and the brass having a field day. Order was well kept by the College’s new Director of Music, Tim Rhodes, conducting amateurs and professionals with skill through these challenging works. The audience wisely was kept away from the front pews, in case unbalanced volume should prove too much, but they were clearly glad to be there to experience the organ’s sweetest diapason and the trumpets sounding on the other side!

View the picture gallery

Freya Roy to release debut album

Fifteen-year old Framlingham College student, Freya Roy, is the next budding Framlingham College music star.

She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Brandeston Hall student Ed Sheeran and College students Laura Wright and Charlie Simpson.

Freya, who lives in Halesworth is known for gigging regularly with her atmospheric indie/folk style of music. Her debut album, Wait in the Water, is due for release in June.

You can hear a sample of Freya’s album below and you can keep up to date with all her news atfacebook.com/freyaroymusic.

And here’s what people are saying about Freya already:

Paul Taylor, Headmaster:‘Freya is a very real young talent who has proved herself time and again to be both an original and an exciting performer. She works relentlessly at her art, and this has shown through in some live performances of rare quality in one so young. All at the College are hugely proud of her.’ 

Amy Wragg:‘Freya Roy is an astonishingly talented 15 yr old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Halesworth. Utilising a looping pedal and her delightful voice she creates layers of emotive, heartfelt and atmospheric indie/folk songs. Her début album comes out in June’

The Chilli Festival in Suffolk:‘Freya is a 15 year old singer-songwriter, composing for the best part of 2 years. Inspired by artists such as Bon Iver, KT Tunstall and T-rex, it is clear that she wears her influences on her sleeve. Her reflective and insightful brand of Folk Pop will leave listeners enchanted, and chilled like our Chipotle Chilli.’

Listen to a demo of the album via the College website here

‘Later…’ With Fram College (EADT)

‘Later with Fram College’ took place in the Headmaster Porter Theatre over the two nights of Thursday 8th and Friday 9th, March.

This year’s sell-out Cabaret was based on the “Later with Jools Holland” format, hosted by the inimitable new Director of Music, Tim Rhodes. The evening was framed by performances of the three main ensembles of Big Band, Light Orchestra, and Phull Phat Phunk, alongside various high calibre solos, duets, and ensembles.

Over a quarter of the school were involved, and all performed with great joy; the efforts of students in preparing their material this term were well rewarded, and all departed desperate for more!

View the picture gallery here