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Learning life lessons through music

Published on 04/02/19

Stephen Perse Junior School and Dame Bradbury's enjoyed a choral masterclass from choirmaster Dominic Ellis Peckham. 

On Tuesday 29 January, Year 6 pupils from Dame Bradbury's and the Stephen Perse Junior School joined forces together for a full day of choral singing, culminating in a joyous afternoon concert for parents and staff based in the Senior School Activity Space. Under the expert direction of world renowned chorus master, Dominic Ellis Peckham, one hundred pupils developed their vocal technique and ensemble skills through a broad range of physical and psychological methods, all whilst singing in multiple-part harmony! The day began with a series of Dominic’s non-verbal body percussion warm ups, immediately exciting the children for a fantastic day of singing ahead. Year 6 collaborated excellently, working hard to learn and perfect five pieces of contemporary choral music encompassing a wide variety of cultures ranging from Swedish, to South African, to George Michael!

Embedded within the music making, Dominic preached valuable life lessons to Year 6 through the mediums of inspirational speeches and positioning pupils always at the centre of group, duet and solo musical demonstrations. As well as massed-choir singing, pupils experienced more exposed and intimate forms of chamber choral singing. Dominic positively harnessed the confidence of all Year 6 pupils in the room and endlessly emphasised the importance of 'giving everything a go’ in life. Guided by Dominic, pupils explored the history of song through poignant instances of war and conflict where song brought about the necessary change - the peace-bringing catalyst. Year 6 were soon able to articulate their own thoughts on song, understanding it to be a uniting human force.

The final concert showcased the beauty and importance of choral singing amongst one hundred like-minded and, more significantly, like-hearted individuals. True to Dominic’s charismatic and all-inclusive style, he unsurprisingly had the entire audience of parents and staff up on their feet singing and dancing enthusiastically with the pupils, a moment I’m sure nobody will forget in a hurry! I am confident that this day will remain with our Year 6 pupils as they travel through and beyond the school into new walks of life. We thank Dominic most sincerely for the wonderful and eye-opening masterclass he delivered to Stephen Perse Foundation.

Check out the photos here.

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