Music Department trip to London

Seeing a subject come to life in real-life situations is an invaluable learning experience, and our musicians certainly discovered that on their recent trip to London.

Poppy, Lower Sixth, shares details of the trip:

We departed school by bus and were greeted in London by Jonathan Vaughan, the interim Director of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Our tour of the campus facilities included multiple concert halls and the stage and set of a current performance they are working on. It was particularly special to see the workshops where they prepare and build everything - from fully functioning washing machines to a wooden dolls’ house.

After our tour, we were very fortunate to be given the opportunity to watch the first two contestants for the Jubilee Piano Accompaniment Prize. This competition is a very important springboard for the winner’s music career, and it was a real insight into the standard of musicianship reached by students at the School. It was an honour for everyone to watch and listen to such talented musicians.

This was followed by a tour around the Barbican Centre, and many of us were shocked by the brutal architecture of this internationally recognised venue. It is one of the more recognisable reconstruction projects of the post-war era, and draws on a number of different references, such as ancient Roman fortresses, French Modernism and Mediterranean holidays. We were also able to enjoy their café before moving on to Pizza Express for an early supper.

After delicious pizzas, we walked excitedly to the Apollo Victoria Theatre ready to watch ‘Wicked’. It is a spectacular and awe-inspiring production, packed with beautiful songs, stunning costumes and an elaborate set, and a must-see for anyone wishing to enjoy the West End at its best. For many of us, the highlight was being able to watch the song ‘Defying Gravity’ performed live, which we study at GCSE; I think a few tears were shed by some of us at that point, as it brought back memories of our online lessons during lockdown and the memories we shared as a class.

On behalf of everyone involved on the trip, a huge thank you goes to Mrs Vaughan, Mrs Davey, Mr Harris, Ms Jury and all the staff at the Guildhall for organising such an amazing and memorable day.