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Dame Emma Kirkby delivers 'inspirational' masterclass

Published Thursday 27th of February 2014 09:58:51 AM

Sherborne Girls was delighted to welcome soprano singer and one of the world's most renowned early music specialists, Dame Emma Kirkby DBE, to the School for the annual Harriet Tory masterclass on 7 February. 8 singing students enjoyed an afternoon of personal coaching from Dame Emma, rehearsing pieces by Purcell and Vivaldi. At an evening concert, guests enjoyed a full programme with a performance from every girl, as well as three performances from the School Madrigal Society.

17 year old Isabella Elwes one of the students who took part said, 'It was a great privilege to attend the masterclass and have the chance to sing with Dame Emma, I really learned a lot from her teaching and musicianship. She was also generous with her time, giving each of us individual attention, as well as advice and encouragement. I have certainly learnt a great deal and have been inspired in my performance.'

Dame Emma attended Sherborne Girls in the 1960's. She went on to study classics at Oxford, joined the Tavener Choir in 1971 and then began her long association with the Consort of Musicke.

Director of Music, John Jenkins said, 'Dame Emma is renowned for her extensive knowledge of early music performance practice and her gift for communicating this to audiences and students alike. It was an inspiration to see her in action. We are delighted that she finds the time to stay in touch with the School.'

The event is supported by the Harriet Tory Music Fund. The event varies each year to ensure that a wide range of girls benefit from expert tuition and it gives the pupils an opportunity to perform in public. Harriet Tory was at Sherborne Girls in the 1980s but was tragically killed in November 2005, aged only 37. A memorial fund was set up in her name and this is the 6th masterclass which has been delivered at the school. Harriet had a great love of music and personally supported many friends to help them pursue their musical passions.

Sherborne Girls is indebted to Harriet's family and friends for providing such a fitting tribute in memory of this exceptional young woman.
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