The Sound of Music

On the 13th and 14th July, Penwortham Girls’ High School performed ‘The Sound of Music’. This was the result of a tremendous effort from students and staff alike. Originally scheduled to be performed in 2020, before lockdown, the recasting and audition process began in February, with rehearsals starting immediately afterwards. The Sound of Music is set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938; the musical tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as a governess to a large family while she decides whether or not to become a nun. She falls in love with the children and eventually, their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. 

Maria is played by India A, year 9 and Captain von Trapp is played by Sea B, year 9. The children are played by Katie K (Liesl), Mia S (Friedrich), Aoifa C (Louisa), Lily S (Kurt), Olivia H (Brigitta), Libby H (Marta) and Jemima A (Gretl) with the children ranging in ages between Year 7 to Year 10. Mother Abbess was played by Katie T, year 8, who performed the iconic song ‘Climb Every Mountain’ with ease. The show would not be possible without numerous other key characters who were also absolute stars of the show, not forgetting the members of the orchestra who pulled together to create the fantastic musical accompaniment and the dancers who entertained us with their elegance. Overall, the performances were a tremendous success and a credit to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. We hope that everyone has made some special memories which will be treasured for years to come. 

Mrs Cattanach, Associate Assistant Headteacher and Curriculum Leader for Music

“Lots of talented, young individuals took part, however, it would never have been possible without the planning, dedication and effort of the staff involved. Lots of money has been invested in finding amazing costumes and a whole new set of microphones. Work from the students started in January and they’ve all been working diligently to perfect their roles by giving up their free time. Many months of collaboration between our excellent cast has formed new friendships and bonds which were made evident when the chemistry on stage was obviously displayed. Despite some hard and stressful times, we pulled through together and the outcome was an incredible performance.” Emma B and Katie K (Year 10). 

“It has been a joy to take part in ‘The Sound of Music’ after having so long without being able to take part in stage performances. Thank you to everyone in the cast and staff who have helped us to produce this musical.” India A (Maria) 

Jubilee Celebration Open Mic

The Friday before half term, we organised a Jubilee Celebration Open Mic and throughout lunchtime, a number of students performed their favourite hits! As these events are becoming increasingly popular, there wasn’t a chance for all the girls to perform so we will look forward to another event soon. It was lovely to see some Y11 students perform their final song and other students perform some of their favourite hits. These ranged from Fleetwood Mac to their own compositions. There was a fantastic atmosphere on the quad with the girls all supporting each other. I was enjoying the event so much that I didn’t have chance to take a photograph this time but here are two students who performed! 

Mrs Cattanach

Associate Assistant Headteacher and Curriculum Leader for Music

Woodwind Assembly

As Year 7 have been learning all about the instruments of the orchestra and the Woodwind Group had been working incredibly hard at lunch time on ‘The Baby Elephant Walk’ and ‘Gonna Fly Now’, we decided that the Woodwind Group would lead an extra special Year 7 assembly before the holidays to showcase their hard work. As well as playing these two pieces, some students performed the solo pieces they had been working on in their peripatetic lessons. All students performed fantastically well and Year 7 were so enthralled by all the performances that I think there are a number of students considering taking up a woodwind instrument. 

Mrs Cattanach

Associate Assistant Headteacher and Curriculum Leader for Music

Year 7 Make an Instrument Competition

Year 7 students have been sharing the musical instruments that they made over the holidays with their forms. We have had numerous ukuleles, shakers and drums made from various different recycled materials and ingredients raided from kitchen cupboards. We had some really interesting instruments, created tambourines, kalimbas and even a lollystick kazoo! The students have clearly enjoyed the opportunity to be creative whilst thinking about which items they could use to create the correct sounds for their instruments. Each form has chosen the best three to represent them in the final of the competition which will be judged early next week. We hope that you enjoy looking at the photographs taken so far and hope to have news of the winners in due course. 

Mrs Cattanach

Associate Assistant Headteacher and Curriculum Leader for Music

Amplify

Students from the Y10 GCSE music class had a productive morning last Thursday when they visited UCLAN with Mrs Little and Mr Owen to take part in a student voice programme for music: ‘Equalize’ hosted by AMPLIFY. This provided an opportunity to discuss the present and future of Music Education in Lancashire, as well as what opportunities they have and would like to see and what career paths are available in music. Here they joined with students from a diverse range of other educational centres including Longridge and Moor Park High Schools as well as music educators from the Lancashire Music Hub and More Music, Lancaster. The students all mixed effectively with staff and students from around the Preston area and beyond and they made valuable contributions to their groups. One member of staff from the Music Hub approached me and commented on just how positive and articulate the girls in his group were – well done Lily-Anna and Stevie for being great ambassadors. Isabel, Katie and Grace also represented the school so well as they all spoke aloud to the room, providing feedback from their discussion groups, using their voices effectively to put their points across clearly and respectfully. Grace impressed the host team so much that she was even asked to give a filmed interview at the very end of the morning with no advance prompting – a daunting prospect for anyone, but she delivered a positive, articulate response to be proud of.

Mrs Little

Musical Buddy Groups

Mrs Cattanach’s Buddy Groups worked incredibly hard in the session before Christmas to create a Christmas Podcast to send to local Care Homes and St. Catherine’s Hospice. The students sang and performed together traditional carols such as Silent Night and more upbeat numbers such as ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’. The girls were delighted to hear that the podcast had been well received and helped brighten the days of others during the festive period. Mrs Cattanach received a number of messages. Here is one of them: “Thank you very much for taking the time to produce and send this video – it certainly put a smile on quite a few faces. Please pass on our sincere thanks to all the performers. What a talented bunch you have at the school.” Well done, everyone!

Mrs Cattanach, Assistant Associate Headteacher
Head of Music & KS2/3 Transition Manager

Singing to support Mental Health Week

This week, in support of Children’s Mental Health Week, PGHS Voices have begun working on a performance of ‘You Will Be Found’ from Dear Evan Hanson. Mrs Little chose this song as it encapsulates the message of hope and friendship really well. Please come along on a Tuesday if you would like to get involved.

Mrs A Cattanach
Associate Assistant Headteacher & Curriculum Leader for Music

Year 8 Gaming Music

Students in Year 8 have been working on our newest piece of software, ‘Mixcraft’ to compose their own music for a computer game. Students have been learning about leitmotifs and how these can be created to represent a character. Once students have composed their leitmotif, they then record this onto Mixcraft and layer up their ideas using this software. Mrs Little and I have been really impressed with the work the students have created; they should all be able to let you listen to their work too as it has been uploaded onto Class Charts!

Mrs Cattanach
Associate Assistant Headteacher & Curriculum Leader for Music

The Sound of Music

Students are now busy working towards our production of The Sound of Music which is taking place on the 13th and 14th July 2022. Most of the main characters have now been cast, but as we work towards the show, we will be looking for students who have committed themselves to rehearsals on a Tuesday evening and Thursday lunchtime to take some of the final roles on. It is not too late yet though if you are interested in taking part but don’t want a major role, just pop along to Drama Club after school on a Tuesday and to Choir on a Thursday lunchtime to get involved. Alternatively, you can speak to Mrs Woodhouse, Miss Starkie, Mr Oliver, Mrs Little or Mrs Cattanach. Everyone who wants to take part is more than welcome, as long as they are committed to rehearsals.

Mrs Cattanach,
Associate Assistant Headteacher

Curriculum Leader for Music

A Fond Farewell to Mrs Hooke

Mrs Hooke has taken the very difficult decision to retire after teaching Piano, Keyboard and Theory here at Penwortham Girls’ for over 20 years. As well as being a talented pianist, Mrs Hooke also enjoys writing her own music and this is one thing I know she is looking forward to in the future. 

Mrs Hooke has been a tremendous support, not only to the many hundreds of students she has taught in her time here but also to the other peripatetic staff and not to mention myself and my colleagues in the Music Department. 

In her time with us, Mrs Hooke embodied every single one of our PGHS Core Values.  She is ambitious for her students, always encouraging them to reach their potential; She is compassionateand always has a friendly ear for anyone whenever they need it.  She is dignified- always treating everyone with respect (even if they forgot what time their lesson was!) Mrs Hooke encouraged her students to be curious by seeking out new music and new styles to play.  She encouraged students to show social responsibility by working together effectively with each other in musical ensembles and our school productions.  Most of all, Mrs Hooke was resilient and encouraged her students to be too. To be a successful musician, you must be resilient; learning to play an instrument is not easy and can only be done by practising over and over and over again. 

Mrs Hooke, we will all miss you tremendously, your kind, caring and gentle nature and welcoming smile. We wish you a very happy, enjoyable and musical retirement and cannot thank you enough for everything that you have done for us all at Penwortham Girls’ High School.   

Mrs Cattanach
Associate Assistant Headteacher
Curriculum Leader for Music

  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider