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The Music Department
In September 2005, Humphry Davy School was designated a Specialist Music College and we have shown that Music is a major tool for learning and driving up standards. Music encourages and promotes peoples' engagement as it is something about which we all have an opinion. Music is a key feature at Humphry Davy, and it is used in a variety of ways, but it is the positivity and enhanced engagement that has had the most beneficial effect. At Humphry Davy School, we believe that learning is something that is achieved by young people.
In terms of resources, the school has a professionally equipped recording studio, two performance classrooms, one of which homes the Music ICT suite, and five specialist practice rooms. Each practice room is equipped with guitars, bass guitars, amps, keyboards, a piano and one with a dedicated drum kit. The school also has a full set of African djembe drums, traditionally made for us in Senegal, as well as a full Samba band set.
At Humphry Davy, the classroom music curriculum throughout all years is exciting, practical and ground breaking, offering opportunity and challenge to all students. We have strong links with the music industry locally and at a national and international level, and our curriculum developments have been showcased as examples of best practice by national bodies such as the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, The Royal Opera House, and Youth Music.
As well as classroom Music lessons, many of our students elect to partake in further peripatetic lessons on an instrument or voice, and these lessons are provided at the school by highly trained, professional specialists. Each September we audition students for Music Scholarships and provide free lessons to those who are successful. Alongside a variety of specialist workshops to improve all aspects of performance skills, Music Scholars also receive performance training from Tim Boulton. Tim was Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Guildhall School of Music & Drama for 17 years, with responsibilities which brought him into contact with the entire string programme from junior to post graduate levels. This exceptional training is a fantastic opportunity for all Scholars and gives each musician valuable experience in performance and preparation techniques. This preparation and experience has taken our Music Scholars to perform throughout the Penwith community from venues such as hospitals, care homes, hospices, and other, larger concert venues. We also hold a dedicated Scholars' Recital evening during the summer term in which our finest musicians are showcased.
Research has shown that students who take part in two or more extra- curricular activities are more likely to achieve higher grades than those who do not. Therefore we run a wide variety of extra-curricular music clubs to enable wider participation – No Poets Here (a covers band), Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, Clarenettics, Thunderous Samba Band, Boy’s Cambiata Choir, Girl’s Choir, a ‘band boot-camp’ for aspiring rock and pop musicians, music theory classes and Folk Group. 2014 will also see the Music department perform the musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in collaboration with a number of local primary schools. There are also various opportunities for those interested in recording with a fully equipped studio and trained engineers on hand to help would-be producers and artists alike.
Local Music Played on a Global Stage
Humphry Davy School makes a massive contribution to the musical life of our community and has an extensive programme of public performances each year, given by a range of soloists, small ensemble and school music groups. Examples include an opera, written by Humphry Davy students, and performed at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. 2013 saw two national performances at the Royal Albert Hall by both the Girls’ Choir as part of the ‘Massed Co-Create Cornwall Project’ and not to be out-done, the Boys Cambiata Choir as part of ‘Kernowyon A Gan’. The boys Cambiata Choir also performed to the Archbishop of Canterbury during his visit to Penzance in November 2013. At Humphry Davy we are proud to host masterclasses and workshops from some of the national, and international, leading ensembles. Over recent years we have enjoyed working with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Purcell School, Northampton School for Girls, Paddington Academy, Mousehole and Newlyn Male voice choirs, CYWO, PYSO, Classical Brit Award recipient Jack Liebeck, composer Paul Burrell, the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Truro Cathedral Choir Scholars, the International Male Voice Festival, DECODA, Cuxhaven Guitar Ensemble, DBS Music, Arcadia String Quartet, to name but a few!
Humphry Davy School is the Musical Heartbeat of Our Community