The joys of working in Middle School Music

‘We are spoilt for choice!’

This was the comment made more than once as we were working though selection of character roles for Matilda. We have just auditioned the largest group ever, with 133 well prepared students trying out for a cast that will ultimately be around half of that number. We are looking at seven promising Matildas, and multiple contenders for all of the other major roles as well. As I write, we are still in the final stages of a very difficult process. Then, after agonising through the casting, the crew positions will be just as difficult. We have again twice as many applying for the crew positions as we can safely use. We are still looking for a couple of band players however – in particular, a skilled bass player and an advanced keyboard player. We are very aware that as we are a school, we have a responsibility to provide as many high-quality arts opportunities as are humanly and physically possible. This is certainly our aim, and we will always do what we can to accommodate our enthusiastic students.

Another aspect keeping this all very exciting is the quality of the material. Matilda is an amazing production and for all who are lucky enough to be successful, we look forward to meeting you at the Information Night on Wednesday 13 March.

One of my current joys in Middle School Music is the early Wednesday mornings I spend with our Training Bands. It is wonderful to experience how quickly a collection of tentative squeaks turns into a working music ensemble. Our Orpheus Choir is also off to a great start this term. At the moment, their major challenge is the fantastic piece ‘Pemelwuy’ by Australian composer Paul Jarman, based on the aboriginal character who came to prominence in the early days of the first settlement.

Martin Arnold
Head of Music