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Newsletter SUMMER 2018

JUNE 2018 LEAVERS Emily Addis, Emma Baird, Naima Heath, Josephine De Geer, Ken Fairbrother, William Fielding, Gavin Marnoch, Tom Aitken, Ryan Corbett, Rachel Spence, Lorna Doyle, Ciorstaidh Sarah Chaimbeul and Brìona Mannion

St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, is one of the UK’s leading music schools and Scotland’s only independent specialist music school. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, educating choristers alongside instrumentalist pupils. The School offers a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years in an inspiring, inclusive and supportive environment. It is co-educational, non-denominational and attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland and beyond. Pupils gain a place based on musical ability, regardless of personal circumstances, and are supported by bursaries and scholarships from the Scottish Government, St Mary’s Cathedral and the school. Our newsletter details some of the highlights of the 2017/18 school year, in what has been a busy and exciting session. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Headteacher’s Welcome

2017/18 has seen our school continue to provide high quality specialist music education. The pupils’ excellent exam results are a reflection of this exceptional education and of the hard work and dedication of pupils and staff. Last session we gave a large number of concerts, including some for charitable organisations, in and around Edinburgh, some of which are illustrated in this Newsletter. We have produced a new website and have expanded the number of open masterclasses and music learning opportunities for young people. Next session we are looking forward to starting Friday afternoon singing classes at St Mary’s Cathedral which will form part of our expanded outreach offering to the wider community. Alongside these new developments, we continue to work energetically with our collaborator, the Royal High School Preservation Trust, towards the transformational project to provide a new home for the school at the old Royal High School.

St Mary’s Music School, Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL Tel: 0131 538 7766

Royal Horticultural Society Competition Notre séjour à Paris

S2 Biology took part in a competition organised by the Royal Horticultural Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Nous sommes allés à paris le 20 octobre. Il y avait deux garçons et cinq filles. Nous avons pris l’avion de Glasgow. Le voyage était fatigant et le chemin était long. Nous avons passé trois nuits à la MIJE, une auberge de jeunesse. C’est près de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Nous avons visité la Tour Eiffel, le Musée d’Orsay, le Musée du Louvre, la cité de musique et nous avons fait une croisière en bateau- mouche sur la Seine. Dans les musées nous avons vu les tableaux expressifs des peintres célèbres. Le samedi soir nous avons fait du bowling avec Roxane, la correspondante de Madeleine. Notre séjour à Paris était super! Nous avons adoré les pâtisseries et nous avons pris beaucoup de belles photos.

The class worked with industry mentors along with Ross Cleghorn the school’s Facilities Manager. They wanted to find a way to make sure seniors spent more time in the garden rather than inside. Together they designed their plans on paper and as a 3D model. One of mentors, Tony Garn, invited them for two visits to the Botanic gardens.

Les filles de la classe de cinquième

Choristers Abroad Christmas – After term finished, but before Christmas, they visited La Vendée in France to sing as the international choir at a Christmas Choral Festival. Easter - The choristers visited Prague, Vienna and Bratislava on their Easter Holiday European Tour.

Other field trips during the year included:

. . . . . . .

S4 Biology looked at biodiversity on the Water of Leith

S5 Biology went to a DNA workshop at the National Museum of Scotland and attended a student conference at Edinburgh Zoo looking at the Asian Songbird Crisis A group of interested pupils went to an Open Day at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh

S3, S4 & S5 Geography went on field trips to Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat to study glaciation and volcanism In English S3 visited the Playhouse and S6 visited the National Library of Scotland to assist with their studies S5 & S6 viewed French films at the Filmhouse with Madame Wilson S5 & S6 German visited the German Consulate with Frau Ulferts

Holyrood House One sunny afternoon in June some junior instrumentalists and choristers made a expedition to Holyrood House where they performed, in the Great Gallery, under the watchful gaze of former Scottish monarchs, a programme of chamber music, solos and string orchestra pieces, to an appreciative audience of passing tourists.

Perfect Harmony In October 2017, Gordon Lindhurst MSP, hosted a reception at the Scottish Parliament to promote the Perfect Harmony Campaign. Over 200 guests, including parents, alumni and school supporters, attended the event which featured a presentation by William Gray Muir, Chair of the Royal High School Preservation Trust, and performances by a variety of pupils from St Mary’s Music School.

Renaud Capuçon Masterclass 11th May 2018 The brave and valiant St Mary’s’ young violinists really proved their mettle today in a most extraordinary fashion. Capuçon’s remarks were said to be somewhat frank but insightful, clear and understandable in this most informative violin masterclass. This morning, in the packed Stockbridge Parish Church, as part of the Edinburgh Masterclass Series, the St Mary’s violinists played their hearts out in a challenging experience with Renaud Capuçon in this week’ s masterclass. Born in Chambery, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire Superieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. Following this Capuçon moved to Berlin to study with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern, and was awarded the prize of Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997, he was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concert master of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Moest and Abbado himself.

Renaud Capuçon had a very charismatic and active approach to teaching, making the players do various things like walking around and exercises for posture. Overall, it was an excellent masterclass, one with the ability to teach even the most inexperienced of violinists and even nonmusicians. Excellent playing, brilliant teaching. Wonderfully done.

Beau Taneus-Miller (S2)

Capuçon dealt with arising problems with an apparent ease, picking out the weaknesses in the performances and fixing them in a thorough and concise way. Capuçon’s remarks were said to be somewhat frank, but insightful, and it must be taken into consideration that English was not his first language. His remarks however, were very clear and understandable. The players responded very well to the carefully picked comments made by Capuçon, and took everything he said into consideration.

Rachmaninov Piano Concert In March, as part of an ongoing series of piano concerts featuring staff and pupils, both present and former, the Keyboard Department hosted a concert of Rachmaninov’s music at Edinburgh Society of Musicians. An invited audience enjoyed performances of both two-piano Suites, played by Simon Smith and Head of

Keyboard John Cameron, as well as performances of two Etudes-Tableaux by Steven Osborne and Preludes played by Will Fielding (S6ex) and Salvador Sanchez (S6). Helping to raise the profile of the Keyboard Department at St Mary’s Music School, the event also headed up a drive to boost the Piano Bursary Fund.

Directors’ Recital Prize Twenty-five pupils competed for the Directors’ Recital Prize and the four finalists gave a fabulous concert in the Cathedral, playing before a notable panel of judges: Mr James Cook, Mr Duncan Ferguson and Mr Bill Chandler. Salvador Sanchez piano, was announced the winner from the series of high quality recitals provided by his fellow finalists Fraser Mason piano, William Fielding piano and Emma Baird violin.

DRP Finalists and Judges

Saturday Music Classes Photo by Allan McDonald

Richard Ingham Richard Ingham is retiring from teaching Jazz at St Mary’s Music School after 20 years. Richard’s expertise, enthusiasm and energy has ensured that all of our pupils have had the opportunity to learn to play jazz in a hugely positive and supportive atmosphere. St Mary’s Music School will miss Richard’s infectious personality and we wish him well in the years ahead.

Moray Music Centre

In February Francis Cummings (strings) and John Kenny (wind) visited Elgin to lead workshops with over 100 young musicians of the Moray Music Centre. In March, pupils Cliodhna Scott and Oceane Taneus-Miller were invited to perform to an audience of families and friends numbering over 500 at the Moray Music Centre Spring Concerts.

Next session Saturday Music Classes will expand to include Friday afternoon choirs. Our Saturday classes continue to grow, with over 150 children aged from 4 to 12 taking part each weekend, in a variety of classes, including Kodály, Dalcroze and Choirs, and instruments, including violin, cello, clarsach, guitar, clarinet, recorder, saxophone and trumpet

Friday Choirs

Friday Choirs are an exciting new addition to our Outreach programme and will take place on Friday afternoons at the Song School. Mark Wood, a former Chorister and currently a Lay Clerk in the Cathedral Choir, will lead the classes. We hope the classes will give more children the opportunity to sing and make music with others in a choir.

Ruth Beauchamp

Ruth Beauchamp, Saturday Music Classes’ long-standing cello teacher, is stepping down from her Saturday post after many years teaching new generations of cellists. She will be missed by everyone at SMC!

Helen Macleod 1980 – 2018

Helen Macleod, a former pupil and teacher at St Mary’s Music School, was one of Scotland’s finest harp players. She was a passionate champion of traditional music, new music and classical repertoire; she was a spirited teacher, a warm-hearted collaborator, a talented composer and arranger. She will be profoundly missed by Scotland’s musical community.

Nigel Murray Masterclass The 2018 Nigel Murray Masterclass was given by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and was attended by over 150 young musicians. Sixteen young musicians from four string quartets, representing St Mary’s Music School, City of Edinburgh Music School and The Music School at Douglas Academy, performed Shostakovich, Borodin, Dvorak and Haydn and received constructive criticism from the Fitzwilliam Quartet. The morning concluded with a performance of Shostakovich from the Fitzwilliam Quartet, one of the longest established string quartets in the world.

JRP 14 pupils played as part of our Junior

Recital Prize competition. The four finalists were Alexander Kwon piano, Rory Kemp piano, Oceane Taneus-Miller violin (winner) and Ellie Shek violin.

ECF Many pupils performed as part of the

Edinburgh Competition Festival. Sofia Ros, accordion, Rachel Spence viola, and Emma Baird violin were finalists in the prestigious concerto competition with Emma being declared the winner.

IRP Our Intermediate Recital Prize

competition attracted 16 entries. Pictured are the finalists Momo Ueda violin, Phoebe Barber oboe, Eve Boulos saxophone and the winner Finn Mannion cello.

Primary The primary class have had another busy year. Term 1 focused on the continent of Asia and then Inspiring Woman in History. They developed their literacy using ‘Kung Fu Punctuation’ and enjoyed a trip to the cinema to see Goodbye Christopher Robin. The whole class also took part in the Scottish Mathematics Challenge. In Term 2 the class worked on a Scotland in Europe project which started with a Robert Burns’ song and poetry competition. Parents were invited to enjoy the final, which was won by Thomas Eddleston. As other schools had days off due to snow, the primary class ventured to the Scottish Parliament. The final term included ‘Be a Chorister Day’ and the newly developed P7 Transition week. Primary 7 enjoyed studying Great Expectations which led onto the fabulous play – Olivia, pictured above.

New Website

The School’s website underwent a major overhaul this session. The new and improved site now includes detailed information about our three musical pathways: Instrumental Learning, Choir School and Saturday Music Classes. News and events sections allow readers to keep informed about everything that is happening in School and we have added a ticket booking option for all of our concerts. If you would like to join our email list for news and events, please register at

Congratulations to June 2018 Prizewinners Ishbel M Gray Primary Prize

Florence Gill

Caroline Higgitt Keyboard Prize Will Fielding

Roulston Prize for Junior Academic Music (P5 to S2)

Beau Taneus-Miller

John B Rankin for Outstanding Progress

Lola Flexen

Junior Composition Prize (P5 to S2)

Viktor Seifert

The Witherby Wind Prize

Naima Heath

Primary Drama Prize

Finn Hart-Brown

Junior Recital Prize (P5 to S2)

Oceane Taneus-Miller

S1/S2 Science Prize

John Hall

Howard Modern Languages Prize Lorna Doyle, Rachel Spence Ishbel M Gray History Prize

Emily Addis

The Margaret Howat Prize for Academic Music

Emily Addis

Mathematics Prize

Stephanie Kozlowski

Geography Prize

Layla Ballard Cooper

Senior Geography Prize

Matilda Sacco, Sofia Ros Gonzalez

Bugle Art Prize

Layla Ballard Cooper

Kate and Eric Rimer Sports Cup Sofia Ros Gonzalez English Prize

Holly Hart

Architect’s Prize for Design

Tallulah Molleson

Modern Studies Prize

Deeksha Veiraiah

RME Prize

Sylvie Lawson

Senior Choristers Award

Madeleine Gill, Mattea Sacco

Townhill Prize

Madeleine Gill

Alison Dunlop Composition Cup Max Carsley Jo Izzett Chamber Music Prize Leonard Friedman Chamber Music Prize

Saint Saens Piano Quintet: Briona Mannion, Emma Baird, Rachel Spence, Finn Mannion, Emily Addis, Will Fielding Strathearn Trio: Will Fielding, Briona Mannion, Finn Mannion

Excellent Progress in Music Prize Layla Ballard Cooper Joan Bassett Choral Award

Max Carsley

Intermediate Recital Prize (S3-S4)

Finn Mannion

Isobel Dunlop Prize for Service to the School

Josephine De Geer

Hetherington Award for Head of School

Emily Addis

Jane Clarke Boarding Prize

Audrey Doyle, Lachlan Kennedy

Calvert String Prize for Service

Emma Baird

John Doig String Prize for General Excellence

Briona Mannion

Douglas Munn Maths and Music Prize

Fraser Mason

Jennifer Rimer Prize for National Excellence

Emma Baird

The Waddell String Bursary for Higher Education

Rachel Spence

Isobel Dunlop Composition Award

Tom Aitken

Lord Clyde Memorial Prize for Solo Performance

Leo Kerr

Sheila Tough Prize for Singing in a Foreign Language

Josephine De Geer

Coordinators Prize for Gavin Marnoch Outstanding Commitment to SMC Directors’ Recital Prize

Salvador Sanchez

House Points Competition


Dates for your diary Monday 17 December Tuesday 15 January Wednesday 27 March Tuesday 18 June Monday 24 June


Christmas Concert, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Lothian Road, Edinburgh Winter Chamber Music Festival, St Andrew’s and St George’s Church West, George Street, Edinburgh Spring Concert, St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh Directors’ Recital Prize, St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh Summer Concert, The Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, Edinburgh

Tickets for the Christmas, Spring and Summer concerts will be bookable online at

2.30pm - 4.30pm

Saturday 6 October 2018

Supporting our work St Mary’s Music School relies on the generosity of our supporters to support the education of our pupils, to

offer bursaries and to take music into the community. We welcome donations of any size, towards the work of the School and our Bursary Fund. If you would like to help support us, please visit our website to find out more about how you can make a donation or arrange for a legacy gift We would like to thank all the many friends and donors whose generous support enables the school to continue to be at the forefront of music education in Scotland, along with the Binks Trust, Mrs AA Clutterbuck’s Charitable Trust, Dunard Fund, Dundas Foundation, Hope Scott Trust, Maclean Charitable Trust, Penpont Charitable Trust, The Plum Trust, Richmond Douglas Charitable Trust, Royal Over-Seas League, Saints & Sinners Club, William Syson Charitable Foundation, Waddell Music Trust, and the Witherby Trust.

St Mary's Music School Newsletter 2017-18  

St Mary's Music School's Annual Newsletter, published Summer 2018

St Mary's Music School Newsletter 2017-18  

St Mary's Music School's Annual Newsletter, published Summer 2018