Fyling Hall School has confirmed exciting plans to provide new music teaching facilities in time for the start of term September 2014. Headmaster Paul Griffin commented that, “extending one of our existing buildings, allows us to invest in a new Music Room, further practice rooms and a recording studio, as well as a fantastic new Art Room.” Head of Music, Mrs Sam Wormald, is extremely excited about the new suite, which she says will allow both day students and boarders to have a modern and practical space where they can enjoy music to its fullest.
Music at Fyling Hall has developed significantly over the last few years in both the academic and extra curricular fields. Led by the passionate teaching staff, the music department has achieved an impressive 100% pass rate (A*- C) at both GCSE and A Level since its introduction. As well as this, over half of the school now either attends choir or receives individual peripatetic lessons from specialist teachers. The newest specialist teacher to join Fyling Hall is experienced guitar teacher Paul Whittaker, who will also be helping to build a sound proof recording suite that will enable the pupils to gain more experience in recording, sampling and producing their own music.
Performance is very important in the delivery of the music education at Fyling Hall. Already this academic year, the music department has organised five concerts, with performances ranging from piano concertos and compositions, to pop ensembles and choir pieces. The next planned concert involves the senior GCSE music mentors performing with their junior pupils. This is a successful Fyling Hall initiative where GCSE music pupils mentor a junior school pupil for 20 minutes a week.
The School Choir is another important feature of Fyling Hall School’s music. All who are interested in singing are encouraged to join by our enthusiastic music teachers and existing choir members. This holistic attitude has meant that the choir, at present, includes an eclectic mix of committed musicians, Rugby 1st team players, many members of staff, and both boys and girls from Years 7 to 13. The Choir competed successfully in the Eskdale Festival this year and welcomes all invitations to play in and around the Whitby area.
Fyling Hall strives to forge strong links with its community in a number of other ways. Jim and Sue McLaughlin, who own Musicport in Whitby, support the musicians by offering workshops, live music events and performance opportunities which benefit the students in many ways. As well as this, the school arranges for the A Level music students to make links with talented musicians and enthusiasts in the area, by organising trips to watch local bands such as Steve Phillips and the Diamonds.
The Music Department at Fyling Hall has celebrated some individual successes this year. Young vocalist Helena Johnson, progressed onto the prestigious LIPA in Liverpool and our current A Level vocalist, Kate Lavery has recently been offered a place at BIM in Brighton to study music performance.
The passion for music that permeates throughout the school has lead to a group of talented Fyling Hall students forming a band called “By the Sea”. People who live in the local area may well have already heard of the local band, headed by frontman George Husband, as they have performed in numerous gigs in the area including: Musicport, The Pavilion, La Rosa hotel and more recently New Year’s Eve at the Grosvenor in Robin Hood’s Bay. George Husband has been invited for interview at Tech Music School in Fulham London, where he hopes to fulfil his dreams of becoming a professional musician in the industry. He appreciates the role that Fyling Hall has had in the development of his skills and passion: “My love for music has been allowed to flourish at Fyling Hall School and I owe a lot of my own musical development to the amazing teachers who work here.”
Already so successful, the addition of further facilities can only improve the impact that the school’s music department can have on the education of its students.