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Senior School news

Making Musicians with composer Michael Finnissy

29 January 2018

The first for 2018 Making Musicians took place on the 25th January. The day consisted of workshops on composition and a concert in Norwich Cathedral. 

The workshops in the morning and afternoon, which took place in the chapel, were taken by renowned contemporary composer Michael Finnissy.

The Guardian wrote about Michael in 2012 saying: 'His gigantic output of piano and chamber music, vocal and choral works, ensemble and orchestral pieces, is a testament to a lifetime's interrogation of what it is and how it is that music means something, how the notes he writes down on his manuscript paper connect with culture, with our emotions, with our personal and social identities.'

Musicians from the school, as part of the Making Musicians scheme, have been invited to enter the Drake composition prize. The brief is to compose a piano prelude which lasts no longer than 90 seconds. Mr Finnissy was offering his incredible insight as to how to take on such a task in his workshops.

There will be another workshop on 1st March and once entries are collected and adjudicated by the panel the winners will have their compositions performed at a professional concert on 26th April in the Blake Studio. 

The concert which took place in the North Transept of Norwich Cathedral, saw Norwich School pupil Charlotte Pollard (Soprano), and Norwich High School for Girls pupil Catherine McCardel (Violin) perform to a full audience. David Dunnett was accompanying both pupils. 

Charlotte performed Deh vieni non Tardar by Mozart, Music for a while by Purcell, Danza danza by Durante, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal by Quilter, Ridente la calma by Mozart, Blooming Heather by McPeake. Charlotte is a member of the Norwich Cathedral Girls' Choir and since the age of 10 she has been a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. In 2016 she was chosen to sing the role of Diane in the English Touring Opera's performance of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride at the Theatre Royal, Norwich. In 2017, she was the reserve finalist in the BBC Radio 2 chorister of the year competition.

Catherine performed Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, BMV 1041 by J.S.Bach and Praeludium and Allegro, in the style of Pugnani by Kreisler. Catherine began playing the violin at the age of 4 and currently studies at the Royal College of Music Junior department. She has been a member of the National Children's Orchestra since the age of 8 and in the 2016 Norfolk Young Musician competition she was awarded the Michael Badminton String Prize for the most promising young string player. 













Michael Finnissy giving a composition workshop to Norwich School pupils. 













Pupils enjoying Michael Finnissy's composition workshop. 



































Michael Finnissy

























Pupils listening to Michael Finnissy playing the piano in the Chapel

























Charlotte Pollard performing in Norwich Cathedral as part of the Making Musicians concert.


Future dates for Making Musicians:

Thursday 22nd February

Thursday 22nd March

Thursday 26th April 


Future Norwich School Music dates:

'Feel the Spirit'

Norwich School Choral Society in association with London Mozart Players

Wednesday 21st March, 7.30pm

Buy you tickets here.