Being a Music Scholar at WHS

Clara and Lara, the WHS Year 7 Music Scholars, describe how their first term as scholars has gone and the opportunities that being a scholar has given them so far.

Lara (Year 7)

The thing I love most about being a music scholar (in addition to the great refreshments at concerts) is the opportunities it presents. From various concerts – to writing this article! I think all of these opportunities have helped me grow as a musician.

First, the Autumn Scholars’ concert. I had watched a scholars’ concert before, whilst in the junior school, and I remember thinking how amazing they were and how they made no mistakes. So, when the Scholars’ concert came around this term, I was absolutely petrified from a week before the concert. Half hyperventilating, I managed to get through the concert – and did well. I really enjoyed hearing the other music scholars play; they are all incredible musicians playing challenging music.

Another experience the music scholarship has given me is attending school concerts. When I initially heard we had to go to a series of these concerts, I must admit, I was slightly sceptical. So, when the piano competition came, Clara and I arranged to come together so we didn’t get bored. However, I didn’t get bored at all! I’m really glad I went to the competition and it was great listening to all the pianists; there were many points where my jaw physically dropped. If I had known how much I would enjoy it I would’ve done it in my spare-time anyway, and would encourage everyone to have the same attitude. I really enjoy being a music scholar, despite the occasional pre-concert nerves. The extra-curricular prospects it presents are wide and varied.

Clara (Year 7)

I sat with Lara to watch the piano competition, and am very excited to see her in the brass competition early next year. I really enjoy the support that the other music scholars give me. For example, when I had just finished performing my piece in the Scholars’ recital, and, as usual, I thought I had made mistakes (which I am sure they noticed too, as they are such good musicians), they still all cheered and clapped, which made me feel very special. I never feel being a music scholar is a burden, but I had fretted that my audience would expect me to play faultlessly at all times. Mr Bristow and the Music Department staff don’t, the other scholars and music teachers don’t, my friends don’t. Instead, all support us to play our best and acknowledge that the best musical performances are not necessarily the ones that are note perfect. We all just try to have fun playing different styles of music in different ways.

I have found even more opportunities to participate in different groups musically than I imagined, having fun, and without fear of making a fool of myself.  I really like the opportunity to be in ensembles with girls in different year groups – including Baroque Ensemble, which has girls from Year 7 to Year 13 in. I’m really excited about performing in Cadogan Hall in March 2019. I am loving doing so much music, but I am also finding time to do other things I enjoy, one of which is sport.  I have managed to sort out any clashes between sport and music, so I can fulfil the requirements of being a music scholar, but still do the sports I really enjoy.

The instruments you may hear us on are – cello, double bass, piano, trumpet and voice – the rest, one of the other scholars or orchestra members should have covered!