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A level Music

Leavers’ Concert 2017

The annual Year 13 Leavers’ Concert will take place on Friday 19th May at 7.00 pm in The Max.  It will feature many Year 13 students performing solos, duets and group items in a range of styles from the pop, rock, jazz and classical genres.  A level student Molly Sykes will be performing the first movement of Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto accompanied by a Chamber Orchestra consisting of students and parents. Soul Patrol, Jazz Band, Flute Quartet and Versatile Voices will also feature as these groups have a lot of Year 13 members.  The concert is open for anyone to come and watch. Tickets are now on sale from Student Services priced at £5 adults and £3 Under 19s.  They are limited to 120 so please purchase in advance to avoid disappointment.

Xmas Concert 2016


Tuesday 29th November sees the return of our annual Xmas concert. This year is a special concert because we will be celebrating the support and commitment of our Chair of Governors, Max Corney, as he steps down after 28 years in the role.

Tickets are available now from Student Services priced £5 and £3. They normally sell out, so get yours now!

The concert will start at 7pm in the Main Hall and feature all of the Academy ensembles, including our new year 7 choir and jazz band, the AS Music class and other A level soloists.

RSA Performing Arts Newsletter

RSA Newsletter


It’s been a crazy, hectic and frighteningly busy few weeks back! But fear not though, we have managed to thrash together another Performing Arts newsletter reflecting on the “goings on” in the faculty during the last summer term.

Massive congratulations to all of our examination students who have achieved some of our best ever results and keeping us firmly at the top of the county in terms of results overall. Well done everybody involved….. together we are keeping creativity alive and kicking.

Please download the latest copy here sep-2016-rsa-perf-arts-newsletter

We’ve had to keep the issue shorter this time (8 pages) due to a short fall in sponsorship. A massive “thank you” goes to the Market Harborough and Bowdens Charity who are supporting us this year as we search for a more permanent sponsor for the newsletter.

A huge “thank you” too to former student Ava Forbes who has given us hours of her time in compiling this edition.


A level musicians put on public lunchtime recital

On Monday 9th May three of the eighteen students studying A level Music at RSA gave a lunchtime recital open to the general public at the Methodist Church in Northampton Road.  The three performers were: Emily Newlyn (violin), Joe Horspool (trombone), and Georgia Whittle (soprano) accompanied by our peripatetic piano teacher Nicholas Scott-Burt.

Emily and Joe both performed their full A level recital programme, lasting 12-15 minutes and consisting of four contrasting pieces with a theme.  Emily’s violin recital focused on music by Eastern European composers whilst Joe’s trombone recital featured Romantic music. Vocalist Georgia Whittle had already recorded her A level recital at the academy the previous month, the theme of which was musical theatre songs through time, so she performed just the final song from her recital.  The recital constitutes the performance coursework element of the A level music course and counts for 30% of the A2 year and 15% of the overall A level. All three students performed exceptionally well and to a very high standard reaching the top A*/A grade band for the A level performance unit. Below is the full programme from the concert as well as Emily’s own programme notes.

The concert was very well attended by family, friends, students, staff, governors as well as people from the general public.  Following the concert, we received the email below from one of the members of the general public who regularly attends our academy concerts:

Spring concert programme

On Wednesday 23rd March, the penultimate day before the Easter holidays, we staged our annual Spring Concert to a packed hall. The concert featured A level Music soloists as well all the academy ensembles: String Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Year 10-12 Flute Ensemble, Year 13 Flute Quartet, Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Versatile Voices Choir, Folk Group, Big Band, Jazz Band and Soul Patrol. In addition year 13 violinist Emily Newlyn gave a mesmerizing performance from memory of Josef Suk’s ‘Appassionato’ from ‘Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Opus 17’.  Our other 6th form soloists of the evening was year 12 vocalist Ellie Boxall who performed a cover of Adele’s ‘When We Were Young’ very convincingly accompanied by rhythm section and strings in an arrangement by AS Music student Madeleine Oakland.

In the second half the Versatile Voices Choir put on a memorable performance of the traditional spiritual ‘Steel Away’, arranged by Mark De-Lisser, featuring year 11 GCSE Music students Amirah Bobat, Lola Pap and Bronwen Herman as soloists. At the end of the second half Soul Patrol showcased three of their new original songs written for the Music for Youth Festival recently.

Leavers concert tickets

Leavers concert 2016

Our last concert of the year is fast approaching and it promises to be a cracker!

The Leavers Concert features only year 13 musicians and is always filled with very high quality performances. This year features Emily Newlyn playing the 1st movement of Mozarts’ 3rd Violin concerto with a chamber orchestra.

The concert is on Friday 20th May in the Max and starts at 7pm. Tickets are available from students services priced at £5 for adults and £3 for under 19s.

Richard Meyrick Masterclass


Richard Meyrick, an internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist, visited Robert Smyth Academy on Wednesday 23rd February to give a 2-hour piano workshop to a group of GCSE and A level music students. Richard studied at the Royal College of Music and made his concert debut at the Wigmore Hall while still a student. This was followed by a live televised performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.2 conductor by Sir Adrian Boult.  Throughout his career he has given many concerts with leading orchestras throughout the world and also recorded Beethoven’s five Piano Concerti and the complete Chopin Nocturnes.

This piano workshop was part of a national programme entitled Pianoman which was set up in 2004 to encourage and nurture talented young pianists; the programme, sponsored by Sir Harvey and Lady Allison McGrath, has enabled Richard to visit over 400 schools in the UK over the past 12 years.  This is the fifth time since 2004 that Robert Smyth has been lucky enough to benefit from one of Richard’s workshops.

Five pianists from years 10 to 13 performed in the workshop with many more GCSE and A level music students watching. At the start Richard gave an impressive performance on the piano and then each of the five players performed a short piece, with difficulty ranging from Grade V to VIII. After each performance Richard gave feedback to the student pianist, providing advice on a range of playing techniques.

Richard also posed challenging questions to the students about their interpretations of the music and how they should approach playing every piece. He helped both those performing and those watching to see that it is important to consider why the composer wrote the music in a certain way, why it’s important to remain faithful to the composer’s instructions and intentions whilst still showing your own personal interpretation of the music. Richard gave the students invaluable advice and help which made it an inspiring and unforgettable experience for everyone involved.