Laurence Jackson School Music Department Spring Concert 2019: Photographs now available to view in our Gallery!

Laurence Jackson School Music Department Spring Concert 2019 photographs are now available to view in our Gallery! Once again our Spring Concert was a wonderful culmination to a busy programme of rehearsals.  It was great to see so many students perform solos, especially our Year 7 students, and in Stage Band we heard the brilliant debut of Aiden (Year 7) and Ilaria (Year 8) on alto saxophone. Well done to all of our talented students!

LJ Easter Concert Image 8-1

Guisborough’s Got Talent Event, Gisborough Hall 28/02/19

ChoirAbove: Laurence Jackson School  Choir waiting to perform at Gisborough Hall

Last Thursday, our students spent a very enjoyable evening at Gisborough Hall. Guisborough’s Got Talent, which was organised by staff at Gisborough Hall, Mr Codling Head of Music at Laurence Jackson School and staff at Prior Pursglove College was attended by friends, family and members of the local community who enjoyed a wonderful, uplifting evening. The purpose of the event was to encourage talent across the town with seven entries from Laurence Jackson School together with students from Prior Pursglove College and the wider community. The standard of dance and musical performances was exceptional with several contestants composing their own music and choreographing their own dance numbers.

Contestants BetterAbove: Contestants from Laurence Jackson School

The competition was judged by Lord Gisbrough, Lady Trotter and our Music Department link governor who were all extremely impressed with the standard of the performances. During the interval our choir delivered an outstanding performance ahead of our Spring Concert, and following the event were congratulated by many members of the audience. The overall winner of the contest was pianist Jack T, a former student from Laurence Jackson School and now studying A-Level Music at Prior Pursglove College, who performed an accomplished Rachmaninov Etude. Congratulations to all of our students and former students who took part! Well done!

‘What a pleasure yesterday evening at Guisborough Hall turned out to be. Twenty performances of high standard by instrumentalists, singers and dancers were enjoyed by an audience which provided a great atmosphere and gave enthusiastic support. Not to mention another polished performance by the choir …’

Music Link Governor

‘We would like you to know how very impressed we were by your school’s young performers at the show. Their enthusiasm, dedication and skills were impressive as was the team work they displayed’

Sir Neville Trotter

‘The interval choir performance was excellent, the school should be greatly proud of its members. Please would you pass on to the students and staff my great appreciation of their hard work, success and commitment to music’

S. Barry

A Festive End to a Busy Autumn Term: Laurence Jackson School Christmas Concert 2018

A49FD07A-0A36-4552-BCCD-F1201692EAC7Above: Laurence Jackson School Choir perform Gaudete!

Over seventy of our young instrumentalists and singers took part in our annual Laurence Jackson School Music Department Christmas Concert on Tuesday night.
This popular local event was attended by friends, family and members of the community who experienced an exceptional night of festive favourites and pieces students had been working on since September. This year we were excited to welcome back Opera Australia’s Eddie Muliau and Sarah Sweeting who performed a spellbinding rendition of All I Ask Of You from Phantom of the Opera. During the previous week Sarah and Eddie were in school delivering an inspirational workshop to our choir and as always we were very grateful for their excellent contribution.

IMG_7170 (3)Above: Sarah Sweeting and Eddie Muliau of Opera Australia

We were also joined by some of our ex-students now studying A-Level Music at Prior Pursglove College, who provided a brass trio (a must at Christmas!) and a wonderful piano solo (Beethoven’s Pathetique, Movement II) from Jack T.  Jack left us at the end of last year having achieved a Grade 9 in his GCSE music exam and it was great to welcome him back.

The first half featured our excellent choir who performed Gaudete!, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, an arrangment of Mistletoe and Wine and a (12-minute!) arrangment of Choral Highlights from Mamma Mia! Members of the audience were clearly very impressed with the standard of performance and we were delighted to hear that Sarah and Eddie, who work regularly with choirs in the UK, Australia and New Zealand believe this is one of the best they’ve heard.

As always there were many lovely performances from soloists across all year groups together with a rather unusual rock version of Silent Night from our Guitar, Ukulele and Keyboard Band!

9CB41A50-A6C7-49AA-B1D3-16A1CC698F2FGeorge (Year 9) and Anna (Year 10) – Stage Band Vocals

The second half featured our Stage Band and Orchestra who concluded the evening with a rousing audience sing-a-long of Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade.

IMG_7173Above: Jacob (Year 7)

Thanks go to Sarah Sweeting and Eddie Muliau, our instrumental and vocal team and the wider LJS community for supporting our event and making the evening such a resounding success.

Merry Christmas 2018 from Laurence Jackson School Music Department!

‘Thank you for inviting Guisborough Town Council to the Laurence Jackson School Christmas Concert, as you know the Mayor had another engagement last night so I was asked to attend and represent the Town Council. I was very impressed with the evening, the students and staff involved put on an extremely enjoyable and professional show which I felt privileged to attend. Please pass on my congratulations to all involved.’  

Cllr Hazel Meynell

Events and rehearsals Autumn Term 2018 – including news about this year’s production!

Trips, workshops and rehearsals have provided a busy and exciting start to the Autumn term for Laurence Jackson School Music Department. On Wednesday 19 September a group of Year 10 and 11 students went to see the national tour of Wicked at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland. The trip was a fantastic opportunity for our GCSE Music students to see a live performance of one of their favourite set works.

Wicked trip students

Above: Nina, Bryony, Noah and Hannah enjoying a performance of Wicked

Below: The set of Wicked at the Sunderland Empire Theatre

Wicked Sunderland Empire

Outside visits continue next week when a group of students will be visiting St Nicholas Church in Guisborough for an Opera Nova production of Feuds, Family and Friendship. For many this will be their first experience of a professional operatic production and should prove to be a great musical experience.

Meanwhile our programme of workshops started earlier this term with an excellent African Drumming workshop delivered by Phil McPharlane of the Tees Valley Music Service. Our Year 9 musicians took part in the workshop which was aimed at developing their improvisation skills. The students thoroughly enjoyed the session and the chance to work with a more unusual selection of instruments.

Below: George (Year 9) leading the ensemble as master drummer

Drumming workshop

Later on this term we are looking forward to hosting workshops led by students of the Prague Conservatoire and welcoming back Eddie Muliau and Sarah Sweeting of Opera Australia who will be working with our choir.

Our extensive programme of rehearsals is once again in full swing with opportunities for students to take part in our music clubs and ensembles including Stage Band, Orchestra, Guitar Group and Choir. It’s great to see that many of our new Year 7 students have already signed-up for the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (over 40!) Looking ahead we will be preparing for our Christmas Concert which is due to take place on Tuesday 18th December. We are also delighted to announce that this year’s production will be Little Shop of Horrors. Our last production of this show was over 10 years ago when our lead role of Seymour Krelborn was played by Tom Bainbridge who is currently part of the MAMMA MIA! International Tour Cast. First rehearsal takes place Thursday 18 October.

Summer Production 2018: Standing Ovations for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

This year’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which played to packed houses, was simply outstanding. The cast which included students from all year groups delivered two performances of the smash hit musical by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.

The lead roles, Belle and The Beast were played by Anna, Y9 and Scott, Y11 (below). Both delivered moving performances especially with their solos Home and If I Can’t Love Her.


They were supported by an extremely strong cast of talented principals. The dastardly Gaston and his sidekick Lefou (played brilliantly by Carl and Zach, Year 11) were joined by Noah, Year 9, who gave a great performance as the sinister Monsieur D’arque.


The Beast’s enchanted household of Lumiere (George, Year 8), Cogsworth (Ewan, Year 10), the superb Madame De La Grande Bouche (Aimee, Year 8), Babette (Caitlin, Year 9) and Chip (Emily, Year 8), delighted audiences with their humorous interpretation of the roles. The title song Beauty and the Beast was beautifully performed by Ellie (Year 8), who gave a wonderful performance as Mrs Potts. Other high quality performances were given by Luke (Year 8) as Belle’s father and Bryony (Year 10) who delivered an atmospheric introduction to the story as the Narrator.

The show was underpinned by a superb chorus who performed musically challenging set pieces such as Be Our Guest combined with polished choreography and excellent characterisation. The hours of work students had put in to create the show certainly paid off with standing ovations on both nights.

“The show was fantastic, everyone involved was amazing – they all did an incredible job.”    Nick Coleman (visiting sound technician)

As always the project brought together a wide range of disciplines in the arts and was supported by a large team of staff. The core production team, Mr Codling, Mr Allan, Miss Dunford, Miss Shaw and Mrs Allen would like to thank the many students and staff who were involved in creating this fantastic five-star performance.

Well done!


Spring Term 2018

Our Spring Concert last night was an uplifting end to what has been a busy term for Laurence Jackson School Music Department. In February, we welcomed Russian concert pianist Yulia Vershinina, who delivered an inspirational masterclass to our keyboard players. Three of our talented pianists, Emma, Camille (both in Year 7) and Jack (Year 11) presented music by Chopin, Zilinski and Vanhal.

Yulia Workshop

“My experience with Yulia was fantastic! She really helped me to improve my piece – I was able to use her useful tips in my exam last week which was great!” Emma

At the end of the session Yulia played a wonderfully evocative piece by Ravel (Oiseaux Tristes) and talked about her international career with a question and answer session at the end.

Later in the term our Choir spent a very enjoyable afternoon working on performance and presentation technique with Opera Australia’s Sarah Sweeting (pictured below). Sarah was really impressed by the standard of performance which our students were able to achieve. Pieces this term included work by Tallis and the demanding Medley from Les Miserables (arr. Ed Lojeski).

Sarah Sweeting Workshop

As always our Spring Concert was a resounding success with many great performances from our students (well done!) We were delighted that Sarah was able to join us together with a brass quartet from Prior Pursglove College.




Meanwhile, rehearsals for our summer production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast are in full swing and we’re really looking forward to presenting the results of our hard work in June. Tickets on sale soon – more details to follow!