A feast for the ears

Smells almost like summer early this morning – some blossoming starting up, although my new name-drop plant, the magnolia stellata in the re-jigged bed by the Library is past its (stellar) best; but, due to a masterly piece of planning of term dates, we are still going strong, whilst many schools have stopped: handy for tucking in the teaching hours before public exams and, with Spring sprung, a handy time to show our wares to visitors – including ISI inspectors whom we welcome this week. The end of the (usually incongruously named) Spring Term is sometimes a relatively sotto affair – Lenten rather than Yuletide and a holiday of revision ahead – but there has been plenty to keep the adrenalin flowing this time. The Bedales Spring Concert last Friday took us initially on an alliterative journey backwards through time, starting with Holst (1st Suite for Military Band), progressing through Haydn (4th movement of Symphony 104) and ending up with Handel (Concerto Grosso), before a choral second half that ranged from Schubert to Wesley, via some Billy Joel. All, a feast for the ears.

Last night the Quad teemed with Dunhurstians – a Spring Concert which showed how fast music is progressing at Dunhurst – Jazz, Rock, wind, strings and brass, choral and those cheeky ukuleles, which defies any tame classification. The evening culminated with the extraordinary musical, dance and puppetry creation that is The Windhover. Composed by Dunhurst Director of Music, Ben Harlan, and set to the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ great poem, it is a stunning piece – a wonderful experience for participants and for those of us lucky enough to see it.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.