LVS Ascot Music
October 2018 Newsletter
I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Mrs Lucas and I’m the new Assistant Director of Music here at LVS Ascot. I have been teaching for 12 years and have come here in September from another local secondary school.
I am a singing specialist and studied for my BMus at the University of Huddersfield. I also studied for my PGCE at Huddersfield. I am looking forward to working with all our musicians and fostering a real love for singing all through the school.
The Music department will be issuing a monthly newsletter to give information on upcoming engagements, key dates and articles of interest. If there’s anything you’d like us to feature or if you have an interesting article or story you’d like us to publish or information about a student musical achievement outside school then please get in touch via email: Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we have an article from Mr Padrick about the differences between English and American music education:
Until I started Middle School (Years 7-9), school music lessons were once a week and I have few memories of doing much more than playing a recorder, learning time signatures and clapping out a rhythm or two. When I started the 6th grade (Year 7) I decided to take band as one of my classes and learn the trombone at the same time. The American system is very different from the British one – and rather than a two lessons/fortnight class, band met at the same period every day (while those who chose not to take it had art).
There were at least 60 or so other students in the band room – none of whom had any background in the instrument they’d chosen. And so, it fell on the single teacher – Mr McEntire – to teach everyone at the same time. You can imagine the noise, but somehow he did it – we were divided into different sections – brass (French horn, trombone, trumpet, baritone, tuba), wood-winds (clarinet, flute, saxophone and a single oboe) and percussion – and for an hour each day, plus practice at home, over the next three years the band got better and better.
In high school I chose band as one of my options, so for the next four years one of my daily classes was an hour in either Symphonic Band or the Wind Ensemble. These were much larger bands of around 120 students, and the instruments became more diverse – bass trombones, bassoons, euphoniums – as some students began to diversify their interests.
In addition, there was the marching band of about 140 students spanning the Years from 9th to 12th grade. Those of us who chose to march gave up our penultimate week of summer holiday to meet at the school each morning at 7:00 am where we learned the patterns until it got too hot around lunch and we moved inside to work on the music. Marching band meant, for the first term at least, daily after-school practise and performances at the Friday night football games which took place every weekend from mid-August when school began to sometime in late November when the team finally lost in the playoffs.
We marched through the town in the homecoming and Christmas parades, we’d play in pep rallies on the Friday afternoons of a home game, and we travelled all over the South to compete in marching festivals – at which, happily, we always excelled. In many ways, this was all exactly like it’s portrayed in the movies, just not as much fun: once it was so cold that my spit valve froze solid.
For me, all of this was just an-other part of school. I chose band instead of drama or art, I chose the trombone because I didn’t want to play trumpet. I’m sure some teacher might have observed that we had really good ‘school spirit,’ but I don’t think we referred to it as such. Being in the band was just what we did, and it’s influenced my love of music – and distaste in American football – ever since.
– Mr Padrick
On Tuesday E4 Mrs Lucas runs the ‘Treble Rebels’—a singing group for KS3. It is open to anyone from those who enjoys a bit of a sing in the shower to those who have had lots of previous singing experience. We like to have fun and will be per-forming at some events during the school year. Mrs Lucas is also looking to take the singers offsite later in the academic year to get involved in a bigger singing opportunity—watch this space! If you’d like to join but have another E4 commitment and you’re worried about leaving that activity, come along and chat to Mrs Lucas during Tuesday E4. Everyone is welcome and there are lots of co curricular commendations available to committed members!!
Mrs Lucas is looking for experienced and talented female singers to come and audition for ‘Vivace’. We are an elite singing group which only has space for 12 members and are looking to recruit performers of a high standard to sing accompanied and acapella works. This is an opportunity for some of our most gifted singers to come and get involved in the department and is open to singers of all ages. Auditions will be held at lunchtime on Wednesday 17th October in the recital room and Mr Bryant will be available to accompany performers. Come and see Mrs Lucas in the music department to sign up and be given a copy of the audition piece. You need to sign up by Friday 12th October. Good Luck!
Your support at our events is always appreciated, no less by our performers who relish having audiences to perform for! You’re very welcome to attend the events detailed below. More information will be coming out in due course. Our pupils are always busy and perform in a huge number of events each term which are not always open to the public. The choir sing every Monday during whole school assembly. The other events our ensembles are taking part in so far this term are:
Please join us at one of our open mornings where you can meet members of our Senior Team, our School Principal and take a tour of the school.Book Now