Schola Cantorum condidit
26th April 2016
As a Catholic school, the liturgies and Masses we provide are of the upmost importance in encouraging and facilitating the spiritual growth of our students. Gregorian chant and the majority of choral music throughout the ages, by composers such as Palestrina, Mozart and Monteverdi, were originally composed for the purpose of enhancing Catholic liturgy.
It is into this sacred tradition that St Richard Reynolds will start to partake more fully with the founding of a Schola Cantorum. The choir’s primary role will be to serve the school’s liturgies, but outside of this, they will have numerous opportunities to sing in external venues, tour abroad and produce recordings. Many of the UK’s leading universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Durham have strong choral traditions. In addition to academic applications, choral scholarships are provided to students at universities such as these who demonstrate outstanding musical potential and ability. We are delighted to be able to start to offer our pupils this opportunity and experience, which will only serve to benefit them.
13th April 2016
Westminster Diocesan inspectors, Father Anthony Homer and Mrs Sheila Nolan, visited the College in March and their reports were published today, 13th April 2016. They were very impressed and judged both schools to be outstanding in every category.
You can read the reports for yourself:
Year of Mercy in action
24th March 2016
B House Relay: B House ran a fun team relay event on Tuesday 22nd March after school. There was lots of excitment around the cake and lemonade stall but the real entertainment came with the team relay. We had 8 teams ready and focused to take part, some even in fancy dress. A course was mapped around the school grounds for runners. Each competitor had to run 2 laps, 8 in total as a team. There was a great atmosphere, with lots of cheering and shouting in support of their teams. All 8 teams did a fantastic job completing the course and, co-incidentally, it was 9B who came first! A big thank you to B House for organising such a fun event and well done to all those involved and who raised money through sponsorship or making cakes. Our grand total will be revealed soon.
Music Festival 2016
23rd March 2016
The Lent term has seen host to the St Richard Reynolds Music Festival Fortnight, which included concerts, trips, vocal workshops, Primary events and a 'Young Musician' competition.
Twenty-three lucky students, who had been preparing songs in groups in their own time, had the opportunity to record their tracks at a professional recording studio at Camden Roundhouse. What an experience to inspire our up-and-coming bands! The trip came complete with a tour, time to practice, ample time in the recording studio and time to mix their tracks with a professional sound technician. In addition, the College's most committed musicians were treated to a trip to the Royal Albert Hall for a meal at its Verdi restaurant, with a live music from an accomplished a capella group.
Our Beatles concert on 8th March was a celebration of so many excellent Beatles songs, performed with flair and novelty moustaches (thank you Boys' Choir!). We had some beautiful a cappella renditions, a performance from our choir for parents, staff and governors, and a singalong finale. The advanced string ensemble, guitar ensemble and the College's five choirs each made their mark on some Beatles classics and many pupils learned a few new songs in the process.
All year 7 pupils have been developing their repertoire of jazz standards in singing assembly, learning songs such as 'I Got Rhythm', 'Dream a Little Dream of Me' and 'The Girl from Ipanema'. These were performed in a Jazz Concert on 14th March, where the year group was joined by the school jazz band, pupils from Year 1 and Year 2 and an extra special jazz band from Christ's School which proved an inspiration for all.
Many students took part in our Young Musician competition on Friday 18th March. There were some exceptional performances and our adjudicators (which included staff, musicians from St Mary's University College and our Chair of Governors Mr Cole) were very impressed with the standard. Congratulations to our Year 7 band (Sean Dale, Sam Cotton, Patrick Reed and Leon Harris-Charlton) for their winning performance of 'Valerie', and to our other category winners: Jean-Sebastian Prenovost (piano and instrumental to Grade 2), Eoin Donnelly (advanced instrumental) and Olivia Law (vocal category).
Primary pupils have been busy, with Year 1 and Year 2 pupils taking part in the Beatles concert - with some memorable acting out of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da - as well as singing two numbers in the Jazz Concert. They have also been busy preparing for the Primary Singing Festival at the Rose Theatre in April. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 came together on 17th March to share performances with parents in a showcase concert, to raise money for a Year 3 string orchestra. Well done to all involved!
Our choirs are developing new repertoire and new skills. The Chamber Choir has been making its first forays into the world of Latin chant in preparation for Maundy Thursday's Mass, and we are excited to be launching a Schola Cantorum in the summer term for our most exceptional singers. The Music department has a big focus on music for the greater good - already the department has raised over £800 in the last year for charity, from collections and concerts and some lively busking at Twickenham station!
Bakita House “Visit the Sick” Corporal Act of Mercy
21st March 2016
Bakhita House has taken on the corporal act of mercy of visiting the sick. The parable of the Good Samaritan is so powerful that the very term has passed into our everyday language. Jesus tells us that when the Samaritan found the man who had been assaulted, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then brought him to a place where he could recover (Luke 10:34).
Bakhita house has taken on many ways to embody and fulfill our corporal act of mercy. Some pupils volunteer at a care home; one of our pupils Rachel in Year 9 has been visiting residents there regularly with friends. This is what she said about her visits: “I help out at an elderly care home every Tuesday and Thursday. I help out by talking to all of the residents and read to them and listen to their interesting stories. I really enjoy it and so do my friends that visit with me. Small acts can really make a big difference.”.
Pupils have also designed posters to be given to form tutors and placed around the school. They focus on first aid showing what to do if someone is hurt. They aim to demonstrate the importance of knowing basic first aid to everyone and especially what to do in an emergency.
Batika House pupils are also working closely with Shooting Star Chase Hospice. One form has already raised money through a cake sale. B house has also planned a sponsored relay and a jumble sale to raise even more funds for Shooting Star Chase. Several pupils will visit a Shooting Star Hospice open day where they will play music and play games with the children who are receiving support and care there.
Please follow what B House is fulfilling its corporal act of mercy on the College Twitter Feed HERE.