Cranleigh Matters The Cranleigh School Newsletter Issue No 27 Lent 2007 www.cranleigh.org
Cranleigh School, Cranleigh Surrey GU6 8QQ Telephone 01483 273666
Georgie stars in new TV series Georgina Moffat played Hermia in this term’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ but is also starring in a very different style of drama in the new E4 series ‘Skins’, an off-beat comedy/drama series about a group of 16-17 year old friends in Bristol from the makers of ‘Shameless’. The first episode was shown on January 25th and the series will be re-shown on Channel 4 in the summer; it is described as ‘a hilarious mixture of sweet, charming and sometimes heartbreaking stories which focus on comic potential as well as emotional development.’
A Midsummer Night’s Dream The first play of 2007 was a production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, with directors Mandy McIlwaine and Olivia Mullins setting the action in two worlds: that of the household of the British Royal family (in 1955) and, for the supernatural scenes, in the Summer of Love of 1967. Four performances were given in a packed Speech Hall to enthusiastic audiences from the 5th to the 8th of February. The truly dream-like effect was enhanced by the psychedelic set designs of Peter McNiven, and songs such as ‘There may be trouble ahead’ and ‘Aquarius’ were cleverly interpolated to comment on and clarify the action. The young actors spoke the verse with exemplary clarity and understanding, notably the four lovers who included Georgie Moffatt, as a hysterical Hermia. The fairies were led by a moodily charismatic Oberon (Sam Mason) and an acrobatic Puck (Guy Turok). Ian Sekalala brought a truly English brand of aristocracy to Theseus. But even in a large cast of 27 it was the comic role of Bottom that stole the show: Jerry Thompson had completely re-thought the part, bringing a puckish agility and camp comedy to the scenes with the besotted Titania, played by the elegant Grace Cole-Hawkins. Jerry was well supported by the other mechanicals and formed a classic double act with Ned Newberry as Peter Quince. Head of English and stage manager of the production, Paul Leggitt, commented: “It was fantastic to see so many pupils in the audience really enjoying live Shakespeare in such a thought-provoking and innovative production.”
The show has a website (www.channel4.com/skins) where each of the characters has their own personal video diary and there is also a myspace page for each of the characters: www.myspace.com/e4skins. Georgina comments: “It has been hard work combining filming, rehearsing the School Play and working for my A Levels but this was a great opportunity and it was fantastic to make a whole series with actors of my own age, such as Nicholas Hoult, as well as established names such as Harry Enfield.”
On February 2nd Dave Bushen bade us farewell after 16 years’ committed service as Swimming Pool Manager and brought the curtain down on a 50-year family association with Cranleigh School. Dave's prowess as a Water Polo, Swimming and Lifesaving coach will be missed by pupils and staff alike and we wish him all the very best in his new business consultancy.
UK Premiere of Bernstein at Cranleigh Concert Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Peter Pan’ opened on Broadway in 1950 but it was not until 19th January 2007 that any of the songs received their UK premiere with orchestra. Director of Music, Marcus Pashley, who conducted four of these songs with the Merriman Concert Orchestra, commented: “It is only thanks to the Bernstein Estate giving permission and the persistence of publishers Boosey and Hawkes that we were able to use the orchestrations, which were specially re-constructed for a 2004 CD recording. I really love this music and the songs seemed ideal for our leading soprano Lucy Cronin.” Lucy’s charisma and musicianship ensured that justice was done to the songs to match the occasion. Lucy hopes to continue her singing at Trinity College, Cambridge, having been offered a Choral Scholarship and a conditional offer to read Modern Languages. This annual concert is designed to give the School’s finest musicians the chance to perform with a professional orchestra, made up of local players, led by Head of Strings, Sophie Langdon, and with many of the sections headed by the School’s visiting music teachers such as ’cellist Andrew Fuller. The centre-piece of the programme was the popular and challenging Violin Concerto no 1 by Bruch, which was played by another VIth Former, Daniel Sheppard (pictured). Daniel’s virtuoso playing was absolutely stunning in the many fiendishly difficult passages but his tone was also heart-easing in the famous slow movement. Dan also has a conditional offer from Trinity College, but from Oxford, and hopes to read Mathematics. His phenomenal interpretation received a standing ovation from a packed Speech Hall of pupils, teachers, parents and Cranleigh Village residents. Several of the audience remarked that it was amazing to hear this quality of music-making on their doorsteps. A very full programme began with a warm reading of Mendelssohn’s overture ‘Fingal’s Cave’ and ended with a magnificently passionate account of Rachmaninov’s Symphony no 2, giving Marcus Pashley the chance to display further the talents of the School’s music teachers, with Head of Woodwind, Angus Meryon, outstandingly mellifluous in the famous clarinet solo which begins the slow movement.
Woodwind Competition Fred Hickman won the 2007 Pat Dixon Woodwind Competition (held on the evening of February 2nd) by playing the challenging Saxo-Rhapsody by Eric Coates. The adjudicator, clarinettist Alex Allen, spoke of Fred’s ‘glorious accomplishment’. As well as his technical command of the alto sax, Fred’s musicianship helped give a sense of structure to the piece for the listeners. Second prize in the Advanced Class went to a tenor sax player, Nathan Pigott, and, given that it was remarkable that Fred was the winner yet still in the UVth, it was even more extraordinary that Nathan gave so accomplished a performance as a IVth Former. The high standard of all the other competitors (18 in total) made for a delightful concert. From the Intermediate Class, the audience prize went to Georgina Ambrose, who played with sparkle and style, sharing her enjoyment more easily with the audience by virtue of performing from memory. We could also really see her listening to her own flute-playing, keeping tuning, dynamics and tone under control. The second prize went to Oli Clifford, who gave us the best known of the Moskowski ‘Spanish Dances’ in an impressively swift tempo, yet adding enormous subtleties in the phrasing. The winner was Christopher Downing on alto saxophone, who fully exploited the fun in a piece by Mower. As the adjudicator remarked, the prizes went to those who rose to the occasion on the night and they, along with all the competitors, were given the usual immaculate and musicianly support of Richard Saxel, apart from one equally supportive accompaniment from Head of Woodwind, Angus Meryon, who hosted and organised this excellent event.
‘Out of the Cool’ Charity Concert With Long Leave looming we were given the chance to relax at a charity jazz concert by the band ‘Out of the Cool’, including our very own saxophone and ewi player, John Sandford. The music was mostly of a cool jazz style, with the band comprising a pianist, saxophonist (John), drummer, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and a singer. There were a number of classics, such as ‘Misty’ and ‘New York, New York’, as well as some of the band’s own compositions. There was even a bit of Herbie Hancock for us funk-lovers! I’m sure everyone who witnessed it would agree that it was a perfect opportunity to sit back and unwind. We were treated to a fantastic degree of musicianship; the unspoken communication was extremely professional and something we should all aspire to in our own ensembles. The individual performances themselves were very impressive also and on behalf of the whole audience I want to thank the musicians for putting on such a fantastic show for the charity ‘The Cato Trust’, which helps terminally-ill children by working with bands such as ‘Muse’, ‘Arctic Monkeys’ and ‘Razorlight’ as well as ‘Out of the Cool.’. Tom Lyle
School Band aims to be idols The band ‘Program’ are through to the semi-finals of ‘South Coast Idol’, the biggest UK music talent contest outside TV’s X-factor. The band comprises the two pictured Cranleigh UVIth: vocalist Sam Mason and guitarist Alex Oldroyd with former pupil Ferg Simpson on drums and friend Charlie Doney on guitar. In the Camberley auditions their acoustic version of ‘This Time For Good’ (their own song), put them straight through to the semi-finals which were held at The Agincourt in Camberley on 16th March. Over 10,000 people auditioned and only around 70 are through to the semi-final stage. Alex commented: ‘It was great to be allowed to play for a full minute as some bands only got 20 seconds and we were amazed that we immediately got offered a live performance on ‘The Eagle’ radio.’
‘What price a loving home?’ Our speaker in Chapel on 7th January, was Col Mark Cook OBE, Founder-President of ‘Hope and Homes for Children’ who in 1992 commanded the British Contingent of the UN Protection Force in Croatia. Whilst in Lipik he discovered the town’s bombed-out orphanage and its children sheltering in the cellar, where they’d been for 21 days. He made a promise to rebuild it, which he did, £1 million and one year later. Mark left the Army in 1993 and set up the charity ‘Hope and Homes for Children’ ; it has grown enormously, working in over 20 countries in Africa and Eastern Europe wherever children have been orphaned by war or disaster. Most recently the charity has been able to close numerous state orphanages and find proper homes for hundreds of children through adoption. Mark’s challenge to us was to appreciate the priceless value of a loving home and the misery experienced by those without one. A collection, taken a few days
The Dance Show This year’s dance show was the best Cranleigh had ever seen: the choreography was visually stunning with excellent song choices to complement it. The perfect routines were a direct result of over 14 weeks of hard practice and organisation. Huge congratulations must be given to the two chief choreographers, Sarah Hudson-Phillips and Phili Townley; we were all grateful also to Miss Mullins for acting as Common Room co-ordinator and encouraging all the performers. Favourites of the evening included the opening gothic-themed dance to Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me To Life’, the impressive solo tap dance by Sarah, and the Tango-esque dancing to a ballroom dance version of ‘Roxanne’. However, the crowd favourite was the 1st XV Rugby team’s routine to Tom Jones’s ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’.
Pictured above is Ray Dunnett, who retires this year after nearly 40 years in the Mathematics Department, next to the pink camellia bush he planted over 30 years ago. Ray with colleague Andrew Corran led a group of boys in building the stone wall and planting the bush which this year was in full bloom in early February.
During the intervals between dance numbers the audience was kept entertained by the hosts Sam Mason and Jess Coleman. Well done also to Sam for his acoustic version of ‘Hallelujah’ on the first night, whilst on the second night the audience was entertained by Henry Wilson, Nick Harpur, Matt Emery and Riley Madincea who performed ‘Under The Bridge’, and also by Gayle Telford and Steph Watson who gave us ‘Torn’. In closing I would just like to say a final thank you to all involved, from the performers to the light and sound technical crew; they made the evening what it was and the whole School were indebted to them for putting on such a fantastic show. Riley Madincea
UV French trip to St Malo 2006 Most of the group were nervous, some anxious about the food they would be eating for the week, others uneasy about the concept of living with incomprehensible strangers. Standing in a chilly car park in St Malo waiting for our hosts, one could not help wondering if there was anything more nerve-wracking. Yet I think the greatest concern was the quintessentially English fear of embarrassing oneself; not being able to communicate properly seemed a most humiliating prospect. Those of us who had had doubts about living with strangers for a week, immediately forgot their previous misgivings once they had spent the night at the homes of various leathercoated, Dior-sunglassed, fundamentally French people. They were generous and forgiving in the extreme when it came to providing us with food and overlooking the shameful mistakes in our spoken French. This was the most remarkable thing about the trip; passively and in some cases, unintentionally, our language became more fluent and more sophisticated. By just listening and not speaking a word for the whole week, one could have become better acquainted with the language. Yet to retain one’s silence was impossible. For five days out of the seven, the whole group had to attend morning French lessons, which were, to say the least, gruelling. However, they were not unenjoyable; in fact they were entirely different from the usual school lessons. The trip was, after all, a holiday, and therefore I’m sure I am not mistaken in thinking that the teachers were delighted to organise lots of visits which included the zoo, acrobranch (a sort of harnessed assault course 60 feet up in
The Knoller Society hosted a History lecture on Monday 15th January which was given by Ms Betty Hunter, Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She spoke to an audience of about one hundred pupils made up of members of the VIth Form Knoller Society and UVth History students who study the situation in the Middle East as part of their History GCSE. The main theme of the lecture was the Palestinian refugee crisis and the emergence of a worldwide Palestinian diaspora in the last 50 years. Ms Hunter described this as a ‘key moral issue of our time.’ She also explained much of the background history which has led to the current situation in the Holy Land, mentioning the expulsion of refugees in 1967 from the West Bank, and the rejection by Israel of the UN Resolution 194 which gave the right of individual Palestinians to return to their homeland; in her view this was a major cause of the current problems. Ms Hunter went on to describe the current conditions in the refugee camps in Lebanon, the West Bank and Syria. She finished her talk by focusing on the wall currently being built by the Israeli government around the West Bank which, she argued, amounted to “a form of apartheid”. Cranleigh pupils asked a number of questions at the end of the lecture, during which Ms Hunter encouraged the audience to endeavour to play their own part in finding a peaceful solution to the problem. She was at pains to point out that she was not anti-semitic and that many Jewish people also supported the ‘two-state solution’ which she espouses. She believed that education was the key to future progress and was pleased that Cranleigh pupils had the opportunity to study such a complex issue and develop an understanding of both viewpoints. The UVth pupils were able to hear an alternative point of view in Mr Freddie Knoller’s talk on antisemitism on 19th February. Mr Knoller is an Auschwitz survivor and patron of the School’s History Society which bears his name. Tim Cross
To The Pole A large group of parents, Common Room and pupils enjoyed a revealing insight into polar travel from Caroline Hamilton on 24th January.. Caroline is a record-breaking polar explorer who led the first all-women teams to ski to both the North and the South Poles. Hauling sledges of more than their own body weight, they traveled 700 miles to the South Pole in 2002 and 500 miles to the North Pole in 2000. The audience was enthralled by her spectacular photography and graphic insight to the peculiarities of polar expeditions. With humility and humour she shared some of the more personal aspects of enduring and enjoying these unique polar landscapes.
Four for England!
To Tom Batchelor (IVth Form) who is not only captain of the Surrey U14 hockey team, but has recently also been made captain of the South West of England U14 hockey squad. He hopes to lead from the front as he did in two matches for Surrey on Sunday 21st January: scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 defeat of Sussex and another three goals in a 6-2 win over Oxfordshire.
Will Collier has joined no fewer than three other Cranleigh School Rugby players who have been selected for the England Schools Rugby squads. Will is eager to play at England Under-16 level, having played for Surrey at U14, U15 and U16; coach of Cranleigh’s Colts team Ed Burnett comments: “Will has good hands and is extremely agile for a Front Row man, having also played at no 8. He is learning fast and has built up great experience playing for Rosslyn Park as well as our school teams. He is a really nice lad and deserves every success.” Pictured are Will with the three players from the School’s 1st XV who have been selected to play for England U18s this year: Seb Stegmann, who also played for the U18 team last year; Sam Smith, who played for the England U16s last year, scoring five tries against Italy, and is Seb’s partner on the wing and, finally, hooker, Greg Bateman. All four of the players are also part of the Harlequins Academy with Seb having made his debut for the A team against Northampton Saints. EMB
Tom Spreckley came 11th in the Surrey team trials held on Saturday 3rd February and was therefore selected to run for Surrey at the South East England Inter-County Cross Country Championships on 17th February.
Cranleigh’s riders had another successful day on January 20th at the Mayfield and Farlington Inter-Schools Eventers challenge. Particular congratulations are due to the Cranleigh Gold Open Team (Olivia Craddock, Anna Rickenberg, Imogen Way and Katie MacDonald) who came first out of eight teams and thus earn qualification for the Nationals. Imogen had a double clear in this as did, in their various competitions, Arabella Roberts, Freddie Dicks (in her first school competition) and Tom Lane (riding his new pony in its first competition). The Gold Novice team came third out of 13 with Madeleine Iafrate and Chloe Allison coming second and sixth respectively from 63 riders. Other notable individual performances included Harri Snelling at Intermediate (third from 48 riders) and in the Open class of 39 riders, Cranleigh took second and first through Imogen Way and Alice Wait. MCA
He is seen here coming into the home stretch after the 7 km run.
Three Cranleigh pupils: Rodrigo Vila, Eliane Pigott and Choi Lynn Jackson took part in the popular Aspire Channel Swim Challenge between Monday 11th September and Sunday 3rd December 2006. They each swam 22 miles (1408 lengths), getting up at the crack of dawn three or four times a week to put in the miles. Cranleigh School’s swimming coach Simon Bird commented: “As well as improving their strength and swimming technique the three raised over £600 for people with spinal injuries. Their determination to reach the 22 mile target by the end of term was commendable.” Chantal Crane (LVth) recently competed (with her helm Ed Fitzgerald) in the International Mirror Class World Yachting Championships held in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. They came 5th in the Pre-World Championship Regatta and 11th in the World Championship, in which they were also 2nd Junior pair (U16). Chantal is in her third year training with the National squad and also competed in the European and National Championships last summer (with Jack Yeoman), coming 10th in the European and 6th in the Nationals, and in the latter coming 1st U19 pair.