15th September 2021 — Arguably, one of the areas most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was The Arts. With singing (indoors) banned, audiences restricted and face-to-face events seriously curtailed, opportunities to perform musically or dramatically were limited.
Pupils from St Francis though remained undeterred. Despite the vast majority of their music lessons taking place online (have you ever tried to play a cello on Teams?), they showed their customary grit and determination when undertaking their ABRSM Music Examinations last term.
The range of instruments was vast – encompassing both the traditional (cellos and flutes) and the more modern, Saxophone, not forgetting the all-important singing too! Pupils clearly made an impression on the examiner who praised them for their performances and commented that they were a real asset to the school. Over a third of the pupils who took their exams were awarded a Distinction!
Kay Francis, Director of Music at St Francis explained “It was quite a challenge to keep music lessons going, both individually and as classes, during the lockdowns but I think these exam results show the talent and tenacity of St Francis pupils. I am incredibly proud of all of them for the hard work they have put in – not just during lessons but also giving up their free time to practise. Well done all!”
David Sibson, Headmaster at St Francis, also enthused “I may be biased, but I have always said how talented St Francis pupils are, and these results pay testament to this. As Kay explained, these awards have not just come from music lessons, but also the effort put in when no one is watching – something St Francis pupils have always been good at. I would like to echo Kay’s praise of the pupils, and extend my thanks to each member of staff, and family member, who helped these pupils along the way!”