The Elms school have a thriving Performing Arts department and have enjoyed some recent success in Musical Theatre examinations. Twenty six children entered the London College of Music examinations in the Autumn Term ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 7 and The Elms are very proud to report that twenty four pupils gained distinction and two pupils were awarded a merit. Six of the distinctions were at grade 6 and a special mention to Hamish Davidson, Billy Gardiner and Eva-Rose Morgan who achieved the difficult task of gaining a distinction at Grade 7. By achieving these excellent results, the children have started to collate UCAS points for their University entries even before they have left prep school!
The children have to perform Musical Theatre songs from memory on stage from the history and breadth of genres from around the world in character with props & part-costumes. They also take part in a discussion about their performances where they are encouraged to show their knowledge of and enthusiasm for Musical Theatre. They study each song as a dramatic piece, working on character, plot and situation with reference to the song in its original context. The children need to be aware of the work from which each song is taken as well as putting each song into historical context along with a basic knowledge of the composer and librettist. The genres covered by pupils include Disney, Gilbert & Sullivan, English Musical Comedy, American Musical Theatre, American Movie Musicals, French Musical Film, British Musical Theatre, British Music Hall.
All of the children have been working towards these examinations in weekly lessons by specialist staff and have been building on their performances in regular concerts and shows held at The Elms. Jane Whittle has worked hard on building such a successful department and is now joined by Cerys Jones from the Royal Scottish Conservatoire.