By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools
Music is as central to school life here as it is in any school other than specialist music schools. How brilliant then to have such an enjoyable and vibrant first major school concert under our new Director of Music, Doug McIlwraith? We were treated to a new range of ensembles and a welcome breadth of pieces: cello, woodwind, brass and percussion ensembles accompanied the traditional Concert Band and School Orchestra (Sousa Marches and Water Music). Barbershop and School Choir, embraced Asika Thali (traditional Zulu High-Life Song) and De Animals A-comin’ (Negro Spiritual), whilst the Chamber Choir thrived on the customary and majestic sacred music of MacMillan (O Radiant Down) and Purcell (Thou Knowest Lord). The Jazz Band, formed just this term, capped the evening. Enjoyment in music making and in creating pieces that the audience would relish were palpable. Hats off to Doug, his colleagues and our young musicians.
Mortar boards off to two teachers, one current one past, who will be moving on to new horizons. Congratulations to Nick Robinson, Dunhurst Deputy Head, who will be taking up the reins as Headmaster of the Preparatory School at West Buckland School. We will miss Nick when he moves to his new post in April but it is healthy and good for all when talented colleagues gain promotion and new challenges.
Former Bedales Deputy Head, Leo Winkley, now Headmaster of St Peter’s, York, will be moving in September to become Headmaster of Shrewsbury School, nursery of talents as various as Darwin and the founders of Private Eye. As well as being a wonderful contributor to the school in his leadership role, he was also the architect of the much admired Philosophy, Religion and Ethics BAC. Congratulations to Leo on his new role.