Performing Arts – Autumn Term 2022 Round-up

This term has been a very busy term for the Performing Arts department at Penrice Academy which culminated in our end of term Winter Concert last Tuesday. Mr Brodey shares a round-up in this Performing Arts blog which summarises the term gone by.

Words by: Mr Brodey
Music Teacher at Penrice Academy

Winter Concert Review

Last week we hosted our first in-person Winter Concert since 2019 and we were pleased to be able to welcome in parents, carers and supporters to celebrate the festive season with us! The concert featured many talented soloists, ensembles and groups from across the academy, ranging from the Year 7 Singers up to the Year 11 band. For some of these students it was their first time performing in front of an audience and they all benefitted greatly from this experience. We were incredibly proud of all of the performers and thought they all performed amazingly well.

The Winter Concert also featured a snippet from this year’s school production of Matilda Jr. Following the casting in September, students have been working hard, under the guidance of Mr Goodlad, Mrs Hall and Mr Brodey, to learn their lines, get their heads around the choreography and perfect the songs. After Christmas, the cast will be moving onto practising on the stage with the amazing set and props that have been designed and crafted by Mrs Morse and her troupe of backstage designers. The backdrops and objects already look fantastic and we cannot wait to see the finished product!

The Winter Concert was also an opportunity to celebrate other after-school Performing Arts clubs that operate week-on-end. Mrs Roberts’ Drama Club have been working hard every Wednesday evening devising their own skits and developing their confidence and characterisation. At the Winter Concert they performed a brilliantly hilarious short-sketch entitled The Cornish Crew of Christmas Carollers which was met with laughter and enjoyment.

The Penrice Band, led by Mr Jones, also featured at the Winter Concert and brought the house down, performing two pop songs that got people’s feet tapping. The band rehearses every Tuesday evening and is open to all students who enjoy performing on instruments or singing. Another after school club led by Mr Jones, The Penrice Singers, performed a number of songs which were a lovely addition to the evening. The singers have been practising every Thursday after school and ages range from Year 7 to Year 10.

Finally, a special mention must go to Vienna, Mahala and Esme who were unable to attend the Winter Concert for a very special reason. All three of them had been selected to perform for the Cornwall Youth Choir, recording for the BBC Radio Cornwall Celebration 2022. You can listen to the concert on BBC Radio Cornwall on 23rd December at 1pm and 10pm, Christmas Eve at 5pm, and Christmas Day at 1pm. It’ll be a really good Christmas listen! Congratulations girls.

St Austell Music Festival

At the beginning of December, Penrice Academy participated in St Austell Music Festival, in the festival’s first competitive season since 2019. It was very exciting to be back at St John’s Methodist Church on the stage after such a long break as our current Year 11s were in Year 8 when we last competed. Mr Jones and Mr Brodey travelled down on minibus with forty students who represented Penrice in two choirs and an ensemble. The adjudicator was extremely helpful and constructive with his criticism and feedback and we ended up being awarded three certificates and two trophies! Aside from representing school-based music groups, it was also wonderful to see many of our students also competing in individual classes and in ensembles outside of school, including St Austell Chamber Orchestra and Farley’s Flutes. Special mentions go to Carrie (Year 9), Reuben (Year 7), Poppy (Year 7), Adriana (Year 9), Holly (Year 11) and Sam (Year 10) who all won their classes! We cannot wait for next year to participate again, defend our trophies and out do our performances from this year!

School Trips

Aside from our school-based clubs and groups, students have also had the chance to engage with other enriching Performing Arts activities this term. Earlier this month, the whole of Year 7 were sailed down to the Hall for Cornwall in Truro to watch this year’s pantomime, Treasure Island. In lessons, Year 7s have been studying pantomime conventions as part of their Drama curriculum this term and watching this live performance allowed them to see the realisation of the skills and conventions that they have been attempting themselves. We were extremely impressed by the work that had gone into the production and it was a thoroughly enjoyable performance (Oh yes it was!).


We were also visited this term by Anna Minear, from St Austell Town Band, who provided an interactive brass workshop for a number of students in Years 7 and 8. Our local area has such a rich brass band history and culture and we felt it was important to give our students the opportunity to experiment with making music on instruments that many may never have tried before and the feedback was incredibly positive. Most students said they would love to develop their skills even further and Anna is looking at starting to offer peripatetic brass lessons at Penrice from January onwards. If your child would like to pursue brass lesson, please contact Mr Brodey for more information.

Music Teachers

This term we have also welcomed two new peripatetic music teachers at Penrice, Mr Alex Giles who has taken over delivering our guitar lessons and Mrs Sharon Ashton who is teaching singing. It has been several years since we have had a singing teacher at Penrice and the students have been very excited to start their lessons. We continue to have piano and woodwind lessons provided by Mrs Mel Farley, drums and percussion from Mr Alastair Hendry and strings from Mrs Karen Frost. We are incredibly thankful to these teachers and other private teachers for their continued support and for helping to prepare students for their performances and examinations this term. In fact, many of our students have achieved fantastic results in graded music examinations, including Holly (Year 11) – Grade 6 violin, Vienna (Year 11) – Grade 5 music theory, Adriana (Year 9) – Grade 5 piano, Isaac (Year 9) – Grade 4 piano, Charlotte (Year 9) – Grade 1 piano and Jamie (Year 8) – Grade 5 drums! Holly was also awarded the Cornwall Music Service Trust student of the month for her fantastic achievement in passing Grade 6! We wish a massive congratulations to all of those students and others who have also passed musical examinations this term and the best of luck to those preparing for next term!

If your child has shown an interest in learning to play an instrument or having singing lessons, more information can be obtained by emailing Mr Brodey or visiting

Giving back to the Community

As we drew closer to Christmas time, the Performing Arts department also ventured into the community to spread some Christmas joy throughout our neighbourhood. A group of plucky carollers, led by Mr Brodey, kicked off the Christmas season by visiting Par Market, some local care homes as well as Mount Charles primary school, raising our voices and performing our favourite Christmas carols.

Penrice Carol Singers Perform at Local Residential Home

It was a great opportunity for some of our younger students to gain experience in performing and also allowed us to kick off the festive season in style. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get to every care home we wanted to, however, we’re hoping to get to some more in the Spring term!

Looking Ahead

It’s been a very busy term for the Performing Arts department as we round things off for the end of term. However, we’re excited for a busy spring term ahead including taking some Year 7s to perform in Cornwall Songfest at St Petroc’s Church in Bodmin and continuing our rehearsals for our production of Matilda Jr. which we will be staging live on March 14th, 15th and 16th. Tickets will be available early March – we hope to see you there!

Have a relaxing Christmas and a peaceful New Year!