Music has again been the core of everything creative at
Ruyton in 2012, with a majority of girls in both the Senior
and Junior Schools involved in the Music Programme.
Whether it was through individual tuition on an
instrument, singing lessons or involvement in one of the
many ensembles, the girls have been able to reach for the
stars and achieve many personal milestones, experiencing
the thrill of musical performance.
In Year 7 the girls experienced all facets of music, including
composition, singing, analysis and performance. Aural
training was a big focus, using Kodaly-based activities,
relating this back to more traditional music language.
The girls used programmes such as Auralia and Musition
to assist in this development, as well as Acid, to create
and manipulate audio files. They researched an Art Music
composer and presented their own version of an Olympic
Opening Ceremony.
In Year 8 the girls explored all aspects of music and
developed their skills in performance, aural comprehension,
theory and creative organisation.Within this they created
a short song, learnt how to play the ukelele, composed
a backing track and recorded themselves. Rhythm was a
big focus, with the girls playing African drums, learning
how to perform a rock beat on the drum kit and creating
a rhythmical composition using non-musical instruments.
They finished the year by composing a sound track to a
children’s story using various loops and audio files.
The Year 7 and 8 girls were fortunate to attend a
performance by the group Amanaska early in Term 3. The
four members of the group are all professional musicians.
They performed a number of original pieces, showing the
girls how the fusion of different sound sources and the use
of multi-media can produce some incredible music.
The Year 9/10 Music Performance class looked at being a
performer and all the different aspects of this. Each girl
experienced being a soloist, opening herself up for criticism
and comment, with many of these performances recorded
for self-analysis. Aural training, group performance,
arranging and concert reviews were also important parts
of the course, all linking closely with the girls as music
The Units 3 and 4 Music Performance class was hosted
by Ruyton in 2012. A good-sized class enthusiastically
studied solo performing, musicianship and analysis,
with three Ruyton girls and six Trinity boys taking part.
All are excellent musicians and showed a high level of
commitment to improving all aspects of their performing
throughout the year.
The Instrumental Music Programme maintained its
enormous participation rate with nearly 400 lessons
taking place each week, and over 300 girls participating.
Increased numbers in the woodwind and brass area was
particularly pleasing and this will have great benefit to the
instrumental ensembles in the future, allowing them to
have a much greater balance of instruments, and giving all
the girls a greater musical experience.
It is difficult in such a busy school as Ruyton for the
Instrumental Music Staff to fit in their lessons. However,
our 27 staff are wonderful and incredibly flexible. I would
like to thank them for all they do, not only for the musical
development of the girls as musicians, but also for them as
young women.
The ensemble programme once again excelled in 2012, both
in participation and performance quality.
Over 400 girls were involved in at least one music group in
the School this year, with many girls in multiple ensembles.
The Music Department hosted eight concerts and many
of our groups also took part in eisteddfods and festivals,
with excellent results. There were also a number of soirées,
recitals, lunchtime concerts and assembly performances as
well as curriculum-based presentations.
Highlights of the year include the first-ever combined
Ruyton Trinity Orchestra Concert at the Eldon Hogan
Performing Arts Centre, Xavier College, the Music
Concert at the Robert Blackwood Hall with over 400 girls
participating, and the Piano Festival with more than 100
girls taking part, including an amazing Gala Evening. Other
concerts were the entertaining Contemporary Music Night,
the Jazz Evening at Dizzy’s (including a record crowd) and
the Choral Assembly, with more than half the Senior School
Mr Paul Smith,
Director of Music
Annual Report 2012