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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:

Soul Patrol to Headline at 2016 School Games National Finals

Following submission of an audition DVD of three original songs written by Year 13 students Taylor Burton, Jake Cartwright and Georgia Whittle, Soul Patrol have been selected by the YST (Youth Sports Trust) Factor to perform at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 School Games National Finals.  This will take place on Sunday 4 September at 3.45 pm at Loughborough University in front of 2,500 spectators. On the panel of judges were Youth Sport Trust ambassador and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Bounce from Flawless and Lizzie Gough from Alesha Dixon’s Street Stars.


The School Games National Finals brings together 1,600 of the UK’s best young athletes for four days of sporting competition. Many Olympians and Paralympians hoping to head to Rio this year have competed in previous School Games including Dina Asher-Smith, Jonnie Peacock, Adam Peaty, Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockroft. The School Games National Finals are supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, the Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association.


Youth Sport Trust Director of External Relations, Phil Chamberlain, said: “The School Games National Finals is a huge event that gives a true taste of high-level multi-sport competition to the UK’s best school-aged competitors. It has the feel of a mini-Olympic and Paralympic Games and as such the YST Factor offers an excellent opportunity for young talented performance artists to realise their dreams in front of a large audience.”


Many congratulations to all members of Soul Patrol on being selected to headline at this event!

Gold for the Big Band in Nationals

Gold Certificate scan from NCBF Final Big Band 2016

Many congratulations to the RSA Big Band who achieved a Gold Award at the finals of the National Concert Band Festival held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester during the Easter holidays.  This is an excellent achievement especially considering several of the players were new to the band this term as some regular members couldn’t make the finals.  In their 15-minute programme the band performed three pieces featuring no less than 6 different soloists, all marked with * in the list below.


Well done to all the players:


  • Andrew Martin* – flute
  • Natalie Crook* and Alice Riches – alto saxes
  • Emily Moore – tenor sax
  • Holly Barnett – baritone sax
  • Molly Sykes*, Maddie Oakland, Josh Watson, Leo Harland – trumpets
  • Joe Horspool* & Tom Jenkins – trombones
  • Taylor Burton* – piano
  • Jake Cartwright* – guitar
  • Jake Bentley – bass guitar
  • Jonny Nicholson – drum kit
  • Lyle Burton – auxiliary percussion


Adjudicator comments for Soul Patrol from MFY

Adjudication BB NCBF-2016

Song no. 1: The Funk

What a great start! Instantly infectious groove with a really deep ‘pocket’. Extremely tight horn section (Tower of Power), a great BVs [backing vocals] section and some wonderful front-man vocals and James Brown style dance moves! Lots of space in the breakdown section too which was lovely to hear.


Song no.2: Naïve

Lovely 6/8 ballad with some very accomplished vocal melody and BVs as well as excellent close harmonies from the 5-piece horn section – nice choreography too!  Really like the phrasing with the drums – very tight ending.


Song no.3: Rhythm & Music

Another great groove – REALLY FUNKY! Killer bassline, guitar comping, keys as well as energetic drums + percussion. So much energy on stage. You look great as a band and make the whole stage your own.  Love the tightness of the horn section and the BVs, as well as the interchangeable front person (all 3 of you are very engaging).


Suggestions for development:

Fantastic to see such a polished performance of 3 great originals. A really well conceived programme too –  two groove tunes and one 6/8 ballad in the middle.

Keep listening to the greats to further inspire your creative writing, but make sure to fuse it with your own ideas as you’re clearly already doing (I’d love to hear some solos too in a longer gig!).

Soul Patrol @ Music for Youth Regional

Certificate BB NCBF - 2016

On Sunday, 6th March Soul Patrol took part in the Music for Youth Regional Rock, Pop and Urban Festival at the Mac in Birmingham.


Music for Youth is the largest music festival in the UK. Over 60 regional festivals are held throughout the country during February and March each year featuring about 1600 groups and over 20,000 young people from primary school age up to the age of 21. Both instrumental and vocal ensembles of all sizes and musical styles can enter the festival. There are no ‘winners’ but each group receives written and oral feedback on the day from two music mentors who are themselves professional musicians. Although it is not a competition as such, there is the chance to progress from the regional festival through to the next stage. From the 1600 groups that have performed in the regional festivals across the country about 330 will be chosen for the National Festival in July and from there about 30 groups will be chosen for the Schools’ Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November.


Members of Soul Patrol had written new original songs especially for this festival.  Pianist Taylor Burton had written two contrasting songs, ‘The Funk’ (with lyrics by singer Ellis Barthorpe) and ‘Naïve’, whilst guitarist Jake Cartwright had composed a third original ‘Rhythm & Music’ with lyrics by singer Georgia Whittle. The band received superb feedback from the adjudicators who were very impressed with the quality of the song writing as well as the performance itself.  We will now have to wait until the end of May to find out whether the band will progress to the national festival in Birmingham in July.


Soul Patrol will be performing these three new original songs in the academy’s Spring Concert on Wednesday 23rd March so please come along to hear the real premiere of them then. Videos of the Music for Youth performance will appear here after the Spring Concert.

RSA Dance Company performing at Mass Movement!

Congratulations to RSA Dance Company

The RSA Dance Company has been selected to perform by UDance in Mass Movement 2016. This is a regional showcase of performers who have to audition to a panel of professionals artists who then choose the best companies to perform.


This is a fantastic achievement for Robert Smyth dancers as we are only one of two state schools to have been selected out of ten places. We will be performing alongside Studio 79 and Curve Dance Company!

Mass Movement is on Sunday 7th Feb at 7.30pm and tickets are currently available from the Box office at Curve theatre here.


This is the routine that they will be performing!

Market Harborough Christmas Light Switch-On Event

Xmas Lights Switch On 2015 - 6

On Friday 27th November the Jazz Band and Soul Patrol had been invited by Harborough Council and HFM to perform at the annual Christmas Light Switch-On Event in the Main Square.  There were various primary schools performing from 4.00 pm whilst Soul Patrol was the Headlining act, performing from 5.45 pm – 6.20 pm with the Light Switch-On taking place at 6 pm. It was the band’s first public performance this academic year and they were very well received by the organisers and the general public. Unfortunately the rain started pouring down very heavily during the Soul Band set and the Jazz Band could therefore not perform for health and safety reasons.

Xmas Lights Switch On 2015 - 9