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Building Confidence Through Artistic Expression

Thrusting oneself into a new creative pursuit or standing at centre stage for the first time can be an intimidating experience; but as our musicians and thespians discovered last month, it can also be incredibly rewarding. During the first half of the summer term, our community was privileged to witness an inspiring drama and music performance—the Lower School drama production of The Worst Witch and the intimate Der Wanderer: Songs of Travel recital.

The Worst Witch

lluminated by a whimsical set design, our youngest pupils united once again for this Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of the popular classics by Jill Murphy. The story, which follows accident prone Mildred in her final year at Miss Cackle’s Academy, captivated audiences with a combination of song, dance, acting and magic. The show was so popular, in fact, that the cast performed to a sold out Ayckbourn Theatre three consecutive days in a row.

“The Worst Witch was a really successful production because it was such fun! It had a bit of everything: dancing, singing, a great band, a fantastic set, first class technical support and an excellent range of characters, brilliantly acted by the cast,” explained Mr Jacob Thomas, Director of Dramatic Arts.

On the clear impact the experience had on pupils’ courage, Mr Thomas went on to say that, “[the production] has fostered a love of performance for those involved, developed confidence and showcased the great range of talent within the Lower School. It’s an exciting prospect for the future.”

Der Wanderer: Songs of Travel

In the same week, pupils hit jaw-dropping notes during the Der Wanderer: Songs of Travel recital in Bradby Hall. Taking inspiration from Schubert’s famous lied of the same name, Haileyburians serenaded us with songs about travel and journeying. Each performance told its own story, upholding the traditional compositions of this Romantic period. It is interesting to note that this era of music was heavily inspired by art and literature, which is displayed in the songs’ vivid storytelling.

Many would agree that wandering is the perfect state of mind for creating art. Often when the body and mind are left to meander, ideas flow from within. Travel and journeying can be compared to the state of flow, the state all art is birthed from. An incredibly fitting theme for the song recital indeed.

“I was deeply impressed by the quality of work evident in this set-piece concert. The pupils invested fully in the preparation of their songs, with expert coaching from their teachers and Mr O’Brien, our wonderful Head of Choral Music and Voice. The theme of travel, of the everyman wanderer, and of eventual homecoming, proved a brilliant means of education for the pupils and a satisfying narrative for the appreciative audience. Congratulations to them all!”Mr Simon Bland, Director of Music

In those moments where one misses the high note, forgets a line or stumbles during a dance move, we must feel reassured that these missteps only serve to build creative resilience. Every great artist was once a beginner and it is our unique privilege to witness and inspire Haileyburians’ paths to stardom.