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Composer, Claude-Michel Schönberg, visits Gresham's for drama master class

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 13th of March 2013

The annual Lent term musical is always a highlight of the school year and at the time of writing this article work was underway for the production of Miss Saigon. Imagine the delight of everyone involved when the School was lucky enough to secure a visit from this famous show's composer, Claude-Michel Schönberg. Claude-Michel Schönberg has enjoyed a long and successful musical career where he has written the musical scores for productions such as La Révolution Française, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon.
Mr Schönberg's visit included a lunch with the principal members of the Miss Saigon cast, and he watched them perform several songs from the show in the School's weekly Music and Munch concert, which concluded with the ensemble number One Day More - a stirring song from another hit show of his, Les Miserables, recently hitting the press with its release as an Oscar winning film.
Watched by a small audience, including Drama and Music scholars from the Prep School, the cast then worked with Mr Schönberg on various scenes from the show and he was able to impart some excellent tips and ideas, which they took on board quickly and to great effect. Mr Schönberg was constructive in his advice and obviously enjoyed moulding the skills of the pupils to really understand their respective characters. The passion and drama within this musical is breath-taking and this young group of people certainly manage to perform with a depth of understanding and maturity that many adult performers would struggle to reach. The afternoon finished with a short 'Question and Answer' session where every question was answered fully and engagingly. All the children found working with Mr Schönberg inspirational and appreciated this unique opportunity of working with one of the greatest names in the world of Music Theatre. In his own words, Claude-Michel paid tribute to the pupils when he said, 'These young people are the future of my business'.
Composer, Claude-Michel Schönberg, visits Gresham's for drama master class - Photo 1
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