Music at Leweston is exceptional and permeates all aspects of school life. The School's tradition is strongly orchestral and choral, with over half of the School learning at least one of the eighteen instruments on offer. The department has an outstanding record in the Associated Board examinations, GCSE and A Level with girls going on to study at the Royal College of Music, Guildhall and many other specialist colleges and universities.
The School's top musicians play and perform as soloists in both the Sherborne Schools' Sinfonia and Symphony Orchestra. The School itself has a number of ensembles including string ensembles, Baroque Group, Flute Group, Wind Quartet, Recorder Consort, and Jazz Band. All ensembles perform regularly in concerts and assemblies.
Over the past thirty years Leweston has built a particular reputation for sacred choral music. All girls in Years 7 and 8 sing in the award-winning junior choir, Cantemus, and senior girls can audition for a place in the Schola Cantorum. Schola sings at the School's weekly Mass and is often asked to sing in services and concerts nationally and abroad. The Leweston Choral Society, which brings together students, staff and members of the local community, performs one major choral work annually. In addition, there a number of other choirs in the School, including the Sixth Form Choir, Year 9 Choir and ‘Show Choir’.
Please listen to come of our recent recitals by clicking on the Sound Cloud links at the bottom of this page.
Girls also sing and perform on the stage in musical productions both at Leweston and in conjunction with other local schools. Recently girls have appeared in performances of The Lion King, Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods.
Instrumental tuition is offered in the major orchestral instruments, guitar, saxophone, piano, organ and singing.
Drama is very popular at Leweston. Lessons are included in the core curriculum for Years 7, 8 and 9 and include stage and performance skills, improvisation, voice, movement, mime and dance.
There are numerous opportunities to enjoy and participate in drama from House plays to major productions, many of which are staged jointly with local boys' schools. Taking part not only helps girls gain confidence but also gives them the experience of working closely together in a challenging and exhilarating team environment.
As well as imparting a body of knowledge Drama at Leweston aims to encourage artistic expression, develop the ability to work together in the process of shaping theatre and develop self-knowledge. From Years 7 to 9 drama lessons concentrate on the development of theatre skills with pupils’ devising their own pieces and interpreting texts in a practical way. These skills reach a more formal level at GCSE level when the School offers the EdExcel Drama Course. Practical units are assessed along with written portfolios arising from the work. A Level Theatre Studies offers an even more sophisticated analysis including the study of practitioners like Brecht and Stanislavski and the technical and design side of theatre. As well as the written side, there are extensive practical workshops in all exam groups focussing on plays and themes. Both at GCSE and A Level, pupils are required to develop productions for public performance and have many opportunities to see live theatre.
Extracurricular drama is very busy with extremely successful visits to the Mid Somerset Festival and the Solo Acting Competition for local schools held at Sherborne School's Powell Theatre, undertaken annually. Private speech and drama lessons examined by LAMDA are also available, in addition to a weekly drama club and opportunities to participate in school productions and assemblies. There is also a Drama Scholars' Company that produces original work and a thriving tech theatre club that meets weekly and involves hands-on use of theatre equipment from lighting to sound. This group is the core of the technical side of every production at Leweston.
A gallery of images from the Senior School's recent production of The Lion King, can be seen below.
Leweston Choral Society 2015: Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert (Leweston's Schola Cantorum)
Leweston Choral Society 2015: Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert. (Whole Choir Recording)
Leweston Carol Service - Susa Nina - Schola Cantorumn
Leweston Schola Cantorum - The Bluebird
Leweston Schola Cantorum - Mists Before the Sunrise Fly
Leweston Schola Cantorum - Awake my Soul