January saw the realisation of Grease the Musical, 40 years after its cinema release. To rave reviews the cast and crew delivered five showing stopping performances over four nights to an exceptional standard. To say that we are proud of them would be a significant understatement! The group of students who took part really brought their energy, imagination and drive to turn the show into the success it was. They were, in short, a credit to the departments involved and a credit to the school.
We are excited to announce that there are plenty of opportunities for you to practice music at UCC, clubs available are as follows:
In addition to thriving clubs and ensembles, our Music Department is a key subject of our curriculum. For the GCSE students this means studying a range of styles and genres that includes the song 'Defying Gravity' from the musical Wicked. As part of their course, students visited the UK tour in Liverpool. Mr Bryant said that it was great to hear 'professionals performing this work' and that they had all 'really enjoyed it!'
It's been a little over a month since our Prize Day 2017 - what a day it was! We've produced a variety of films from across the day which saw so many wonderful performances and moments. Once again, thank you to all who sponsored, attended and took part in the day. A big thank you also goes to our fantastic 2017 VIP guest Joey Essex.
I said the same about the Monday we departed for France, and I didn’t really manage to stick to it, but there is only so much you can say about the return journey. Once we arrived in Calais we find ourselves stuck in a long line of coaches wanting to cross the border, which means that not only do we miss the earlier ferry which we had been aiming and on time for, we miss our designated ferry by a minute. All because of border security. Well, at least we know they are doing their jobs, right?
Once we are back in England it does not take long for the rain to start falling. You would think that we didn’t miss it? Well, this is partly true, but there is something comforting about the rain, a sense of feeling at home and a journey coming to an end. At least it had cleared by the time we reached Cumberland yard at 11:30PM allowing us to pick up our instruments and cases without getting wet.
A final few words
And with that, our blog is finished. It has been a pleasure working with some of the finest young musicians from our area. We would like to say a special thank you to both Mr Bryant and Mr Gordon, both of whom have sacrificed many hours of their own time to get us to the standard required to play in Paris as well as the rest of the staff, without whom the tour would not have been a success.
Over the next few months we will be taking a rest before we start to plan a new trip to Germany in the Summer of 2019. If you would like any more details on this trip, search UCC Germany Music Tour July 2019 for some updates, or message the UCC Music Twitter account @UCC_Music where there will also be regular updates with what is happening within the department.
Another action packed day. As we take the bus into the centre of Paris we have the opportunity to stop and explore a music shop on the where a couple of harmonicas are bought. Beware Germany, harmonica duet is on the table.
As we further approach the city centre, we learn that in France, you give way to traffic that wants to enter the roundabout rather than that which is already circulating it, which, when there are few road markings, can be a bit of a free for all, especially when there are eight, yes. Eight, lanes of traffic.
Our second stop of the day is the Arc de Triomphe where we have an hour to look around the base of the arc, take some photos and see the eternal flame. From here we begin the long walk down the Champs-Elysees which takes up a lot of what remains of the day before our evening performance.
As we reach the halfway point of the walk, we come across a small hut with a large area for seating behind it. Stopping for a rest, some of our musicians approach the hut to buy a drink, to find that it is not only a small drinks stall, but a crepe stand. Can you get something more French? The only things to be said about this is that they had a very good day for business and that what they produced was top quality. Once we reach the end of the road, the group comes upon a garden, the very one we are to be performing in later in fact, but there is very little time to find the bandstand as many queue for ice-creams and drinks to cool us from the heat, which we are yet to adjust to.
Now running later than we would have liked because of Parisian rush hour traffic, we arrive at the band stand in Parc Montsouris where we performed our first full 90-minute set, apart from the few songs we had to cut to make up for lost time. No matter because we still gathered a crowd, many of whom stayed to watch our entire performance, even through the light rain showers, the wind and the heat. After the performance, city officials spoke to Mr Bryant, saying that we were one of the best groups to have performed on that stage, which just goes to show that the hard work we put in payed off.
Evening time comes and we are once again dining at the hotel restaurant where the food has improved tenfold from our previous experience, although the food was not to everybody’s liking.
This night there was no entertainment apart from what we had brought with us, as the staff wanted us all in bed so we could be ready for the next day.
Our last full day in Paris was one of more relaxation than the previous couple. After a breakfast of cereals, croissants and yoghurt (like the previous days) we boarded the coach which took us to the river Seine, where we found that we would be taking an hour and half river tour which would give us the opportunity to see some famous places which Paris holds, such as the Louvre.
After the tour had finished we once again climbed onto the coaches which took us on a short trip around the city, including the place where Lady Diana was killed. After the short drive, we reached our next stop, the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck. An elevator took us to the very top floor where we had the opportunity to see the views of Paris from one of the tallest buildings in the City. A few steps up and we could walk on the roof of the tower where the views were even better than the floor below. As well as the views, there was the “Sky Bar” which sold both soft and alcoholic drinks; however, a small flute of champagne was all of 12 euros, never mind as some great pictures were taken, especially of the Eiffel Tower and the park next to it where we were to play later in the day.
It gets to half past four in the French afternoon with the sun still beating down, but the temperatures cooling down to make it slightly more bearable. The band is all set up and ready to play in Parc Champs du Mars, right next to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Sound check complete, we start with thirty minutes of big band and the UCC singers as well as a couple of solo performances, followed by the Wind band which includes the Queen Medley, Disney Medley and music for Wicked. Once again, we manage to draw a crowd from the surrounding area and have a few members of our audience up on their feet dancing to the tunes that we are providing for them. Once we have finished our final performance in Paris, we are congratulated with a warm round of applause from our listeners, all of whom are impressed with our work. It is at this point Mr Bryant becomes emotional as he realises that our UCC Music Paris Tour 2017 has come to an end and that he is proud of the bands for pulling together to make it a sUCCess when there were times when it looked like it wouldn’t happen.
Back at the restaurant for our final Parisian evening meal, there is an awards ceremony hosted by Mr Bryant and Mr Gordon, with certificates going to the people with the best hairdo, the most improved, and as stated earlier, the best show off, with the last being awarded to Appleby’s Robert McNicol.
First of all, I would like to apologise about the lack of updates with the blog, which I have now finally had the chance to complete.
As many of you who are reading this are aware, Ullswater Community College music department teamed up with Appleby Grammar School to form a formidable team of ninety-six young musicians and staff who have been working for over a year to get to the standard required to play in some of Paris’ most prestigious locations.
In all honesty, there’s very little that I can say about today, apart from there was a lot of travelling. Leaving just after midnight on Monday morning, the two coaches loaded with musical instruments and our luggage, we departed from Cumberland yard and hit the long trek ahead of us. Surprisingly, sleep seemed to come naturally to everyone, although that didn’t last long. As the sun began to rise above what was a sunny day in England, the members of Coach B woke and decided to have last minute rehearsals at the back of the coach by singing each of their individual parts for the full ninety-minute set.
Approaching Dover, we had made very good progress. In fact, it was so good that both of the coaches managed to catch an earlier ferry, whereas the original plan had been to take two.
Once on the ferry, we had some time to ourselves, so we went in search of breakfast. Many students managed to find a Starbucks on board selling all day breakfast sandwiches and tea. Now, if you don’t know Starbucks, it’s an American firm, which means that the tea provided was of no standard to a proper British brew. No matter, us plucky brits can last a week, can’t we? Whilst us students settled for a café breakfast, our group leaders managed to find the ferry restaurant where they were serving full English breakfasts.
All full up, the teams once again joined for the second half of the journey which would take us to our final destination – Paris.
Arriving at around 4:30PM (French time) we were given a few hours to freshen up before we were to dine in the hotel, where we were provided with a three course meal, consisting of couscous, burger and chips and a slice of apple tart.
Evening entertainment consisted of what every music tour entertainment should be – a music quiz, although, due to many of us being tired after a day of travelling we were giving the option of taking part or retiring to our rooms for the night with the thoughts of Disneyland the next day.
This is it. The big day. The day of the Big Band Disneyland performance, and what a day it was as well. The sun was shining bright, temperatures reaching the mid-30s and everybody was raring to go. As we arrive it is time for our very own Mr Bryant to take to the stage, or to the phone in this case, as he takes part in a live radio broadcast for BBC Radio Cumbria. Those who are not performing have an hour to explore the park before we meet at the Videopolis stage where the band is to perform the twenty-minute set which they have been practicing hard for.
As the sound checks are underway, we realise that this is going to be a special moment because this is not only a once in a lifetime opportunity, there is a full team dedicated to helping set up and make sure that the band’s needs have been catered for. As the clock hits 12, the music starts with ‘Uptown Funk’ followed by a variety of hits including ‘Birdland’ ‘Living on a Prayer’ and the star of the show ‘Superstition’ which provided the opportunity for some solos by the band members, one of which earned the award for “biggest show off”.
The rest of the day was continued in high spirits after the performance was taken well by locals and others alike. Once again, we had the opportunity to finish exploring the area, ride on the variety of rollercoasters and play on the side shows which were available.
Dinner at Planet Hollywood was also a success, with the options consisting of burgers (yes, again) or pasta, with the meat being cooked to our liking. Some of the older students had the option to have a drink with the meal which was very well received by those that chose to accept.
After dinner is the reason that everybody wants to go to Disneyland. The fireworks. Due to a slight mix up with the busses, we were at the back of the crowd, but what we could see was something that none of us will ever forget. The views were spectacular and there are no words to describe how amazing it was to watch the fireworks over the iconic Disneyland Castle.
Rehearsals are under-way, the band is warming up and bookings are open for the UCC production of Bugsy Malone.
The show will be on Thursday the 9th of February, Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th with a 7pm start in the Cumberland Hall.
Tickets are £8 or £6 for concessions if booked or will be £9 and £7 for concessions on the door (subject to availability).
Please see the poster here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details and to book your tickets!
For those attending rehearsals - you can see the schedule here.
ITV Border News will be featuring our brand-new 2016 Christmas Single 'Will it Snow this Xmas?' on their programme tonight at 6pm. The single has been created by students and staff at UCC and recorded in our new studio. You can pick up a copy of the single in school or online here.
Staff and students also took part in the music video for the song which you can view below or on our Vimeo channel.
If you missed the Spring Edition of Success before the Easter holidays, you can now view it online here. This edition is full of the latest news and success stories from UCC including coverage of the fantastic production of Joseph, the recent french exchange visit, our Branch Out with Books competition, the English Department's Harry Potter Night and much more.
I couldn’t have been more proud of the students and staff or more impressed with the way they showcased their work. We showed off our Hair & Beauty, Motor Vehicle and Agricultural Engineering, Construction, including Dry Stone Walling and our links with Tanzania where students, last year spent two weeks in Morogoro Hospital as Gap Medics. His Royal Highness also met some of our students, one studying to be a Norland Nanny, an award winning Sheepdog and her owner, Cumbria’s top Holstein judge and the county’s top Cumberland U12 Wrestler. The tour then made its way through the waiting crowds with His Royal Highness stopping to talk to many of our students before entering Fred’s Bar to meet Co-Head Prefects, Catering staff and their students and to see a small display of Art and Design Technology work. In Cumberland Hall The Prince of Wales was treated to a stunning display by some of our award winning Cheerleaders and the cast of Joseph performing one of the numbers from their recent sell-out performance of Joseph & his amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat.
After a few words to the assembled Year 11 students His Royal Highness unveiled a slate plaque commemorating his visit before signing the visitor’s book. Finally The Prince was presented with a spectacular acrylic painting of Craig Farm, Garrigill done by ex-student Cathy Beaumont.
His Royal Highness departed to the cheers of students and staff after what was a wonderful hour and a quarter. He left the school in great shape and we will remember this event for many years to come.
At Easter our Year 11 and Year 13 students did an extra 500 pupil days in school to improve their examination chances and the programme of intervention activities will continue for the remaining weeks before exams. We are hopeful that results will be, as usual excellent as a consequence.
The Easter Holidays also brought the annual Lambing time up at the Pattinson home and so far we have delivered 26 healthy young lambs with another 6 Ewes still to decide when to produce. Although the mathematics of Tupping should deliver the new-born in the Easter Holidays sheep are a law unto themselves and the last ones to deliver will no doubt decide on some unearthly hour on a school day to get started.
With little more than a month to go before the exam season swings into full speed school feels like a very busy place. I wish all of our students the very best of luck in their preparations and I hope they all get the questions they would prefer in the programme of examinations to follow.
Ticket's for UCC's Joseph extravaganza, with music, drama and dance, are now on sale. The show will be on from Wednesday the 2nd of March through to Saturday the 5th of March (see the below poster for more details). Tickets can be booked by email. To do this you need to email at email@example.com using the following checklist:
Chosen Performance Night:
Number of Adults:
Number of Concessions:
Any specific seating requirements, e.g. Ground Level/Wheelchair:
Once we receive your email, a member of the team will message you back to confirm your booking and the cost. Payment can be made by cash or cheque (made payable to "UCC Fund") and can be submitted at Reception or to any of the Performing Arts staff. Your tickets will be delivered or available for collection upon receipt of payment.
Welcome back to the second half of our Autumn Term – week 8 of the “new” academic year.
This week, at Year 7 settling-in parents’ evening, I was asked how things were going in the school. I didn’t have to think about my reply for long because it’s very clear to me that, although the school continues day by day and week by week to fine-tune its practice to become better, it’s at the changeover from one academic year to another that the biggest surge forward seems to occur. I suppose results over the summer, the culmination and reward for a year’s hard work, coupled with the arrival of a new set of Year 7 students and arrivals in Year 12 mean that all the improvement and fresh enthusiasm re-define the school once more.
…and, of course, it’s been Prize Day! At the end of last half term, on Thursday 22nd October, we held the fourth of our new-style Prize Days with guest Georgia May Foote, star of Strictly Come Dancing and Coronation Street. Once again, the event created a huge amount of interest with Border TV and BBC Radio Cumbria both covering the whole event. Our performers were mind-blowingly good, with the Year 10 drama group performing a brilliantly good physical theatre representation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Our dancers performed Top Hats, a superb 1930s tap dance routine; the cheerleaders once again showed why they are in the top few schools nationally and our Big Band created a real stir with Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk and Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer. Mr Smith’s Year 9 gifted and talented artists created a superb art installation, which was produced in the school colours and derived from images of the physical structures around the UCC site.
The event was concluded with warm congratulations and thanks from Head Boy Chris Martin and Head Girl Alicia Brittle. Following Prize Day, the school Twitter feed has been full of “it was amazing”, “bucket-loads of talent”, “It’s all Hannah’s talked about…”, “UCC is a wonderful school”, “Fantastic Prize Day celebrations”, “Great afternoon – well done”, and – from Georgia herself – it was “What a beautiful place Ullswater CC is. Met some inspirational people today. Well done to all of you and thanks for having me”.
Huge thanks to our sponsors and to all the staff and students who made it such a special occasion.
The new half term has got off to a great start. Plenty of interest in our new “print solution”, which will, hopefully, reduce waste and contribute positively to our environment.
Congratulation too to our cross-country teams, who competed in a major competition just before the half term holiday. They boys came 7th out of 30 schools and the girls came 2nd, with Martha Richards coming 2nd overall in the girls’ race. Brilliant performance! Both Martha and Beccy Stamper will now go on to run for the County team.
You are cordially invited to the music department Summer Picnic Concert and leavers celebration on Monday 13th July. There will be a barbeque starting at 6pm and the concert will begin at 7pm with a expected finish time of 9pm.
If the weather if nice we will be outside so please bring blankets, chairs etc. Tickets are £4 for adults and £3 for concessions. We look forward to seeing you there.
The Music Department
Half term went in the blink of an eye for everyone involved with UCC I suspect.
School was open for the entire 5 days of the holidays with Art and English GCSE revision classes running. Over 100 students reaped the benefit of the extra help and, despite the interruption of the well-earned break the time spent on extra classes will pay dividends in the summer.
Of course, half of the school was on tour elsewhere during the week too – either in mainland Europe or the capital city.
The Art Department set off, on the Tuesday before half term, on their annual artistic pilgrimage – via Eurostar – to Paris, where students visited the Musée Picasso, Musée de l’Orangerie, Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, the Galeries Lafayette, the Pompidou Centre, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, the Musée de la Mode et du Textiles, the Musée Rodin, the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Eiffel Tower, before setting off back to Penrith via the Gare du Nord and St Pancras.
At 2.45 a.m. on Saturday 14 February, 20 Year 10 and 11 students set off on the long journey by air to Berlin with members of the History Department. The visit included the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, the Holocaust Memorial, a concentration camp, a nuclear bunker, Check Point Charlie and variety of other exhibitions. They sampled local delicacies such as currywurst and pretzels as well as a wide variety of German pastries. They returned to the UK and Penrith via the Berlin Zoo, which – judging by the number of Twitter messages – was clearly a high point for students.
On Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 February, French teacher Miss Dale set off with nine Year 12 and 13 A-level French students to Paris. The visit included staying with Parisian families – a daunting experience because there was no escape from speaking French. During the trip they visited the Champs Elysees, climbed the Eiffel Tower, braved the top of the Tour Montparnasse and visited the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. All students had a fantastic time, and improved their French too.
On Monday 16 February, Mr Bryant organised a Music Department tour to the capital city London, Fifty-three students and 6 staff performed in “the Actors’ Church”, Covent Garden and the Abbey Centre in Paddington. The trip also included ice-skating and bowling, as well as taking in the West End production of Wicked, a trip on the Thames and the London Eye. There was also the opportunity for a talent contest and the chance to celebrate the contributions of a number of Year 11 and 13 students who leave the department and the school after several years involvement with this fabulous department. Plans are now in progress for a trip to Paris in 2016.
As we return to school, you’d think things would settle down to a more predictable pattern – far from it. We had a visit by Jan Renou, the North of England Schools’ Commissioner, on Monday 23 February. She told me how impressed she was with what she managed, in her brief visit, to see of UCC and commented in particular on the warm relationships and total commitment by pupils she saw here.
Coming shortly – on 26 and 27 February 2015 – Physics staff are taking 17 sixth form students on a visit to CERN in Geneva, the home of the large hadron collider. A marvellous opportunity to see the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator – most recently in the news for shedding further light on the properties of the Higgs Boson.
As for Headteachers – what do they spend their time doing during half term holidays? Well this time I had 18 tonnes of manure to spread –by fork – to get ready for the new growing season! At least that’s a change from the normal term-time activities.
UCC Music Department are going on their first music tour in fifteen years to London. We will be going from Monday 16th to Thursday 19th February and we will be performing music from the UCC Big Band, Wind Band, UCCO, Keyboard & Guitar Group, Brass Quintet and UCC Singers as well as solo and small group performances including the band Zig Zagg. If you want to hear what we will be performing then why not come along to London: The Concert in Cumberland Hall on Tuesday 10th February starting at 7pm; tickets are £5 for adults and £4 for concessions. If you cannot make this then why not consider buying a London Tour album, featuring 7 tracks all for the cost of £3 or a one time promotion, 2 for £4.
We look forward to bringing you more news from the London Tour!
The UCC Music Department are going on tour to London in February half term and we cordially invite you to London - The Concert! This is on February 10th at 7pm in Cumberland Hall. Tickets are £5 for adults and £4 for concessions and are available from Lakeland Music, the LRC or the Music office. It's sure to be a great night of musical entertainment featuring some of the music that the Orchestra will play on their tour.
It’s difficult to find words to describe the overwhelming brilliance of our Prize Day celebrations on 23 October 2014. It was always part of the plan that these events should be entertaining, uplifting and of outstanding quality. Indeed, pupils receiving prizes and those watching in the audience ought to get as much pleasure from the event as one another.
This year the staff and pupils of the school excelled themselves and we enjoyed a stunningly good pair of Prize Day ceremonies. The opening sequences of film showcasing a new 3D graphic of the school crest, a year in the life of UCC and some of the TV appearances of our guest, Adam Thomas, got the events off to a great start. The Year 13 drama students performed a cheeky look at the history of theatre, our wind band of 50 students blew the audience’s mind with Katy Perry’s Firework, our dancers had people open-mouthed with the fusion of ballet and street choreography and our national championship-wining cheerleaders brought the house down with their performance.
Since the big day I have had a steady stream of e-mails and letters, all positive, about the event and as the dust settles on this year’s proceeding we’ve already begun thinking about how we can make next year’s Prize Day even bigger than this year’s.
A huge thank you to all staff, students and parents who are playing their part in selling raffle tickets for this term’s Grand Christmas Draw. Proceeds will support a “social space” project for students at UCC as well as contributing to our overseas development work in Tanzania. A good number of pupils have requested additional books of tickets so we hope we can raise a good amount of support for these two interesting ventures.
With half term beginning in just one week’s time it’s hard to believe that on Friday this week more than half of the Autumn Term will have passed. It’s been another very busy 8 weeks and fortunately the weather for almost all of this time has been wonderful.
Duke of Edinburgh expeditions have, for once, been able to enjoy the Lake District in full sunshine. With 45 pupils enrolled on the Bronze Award and 9 teachers in attendance the weekend expeditions on 27 & 28th September was a terrific success.
On 2nd October, Year 8 pupils presented the poetry they’d written whilst in Year 7 in a project sponsored by Ian Loftus and the Caldbeck Arts’ Festival. The writing was inspired by a trip organised by Emma Cummings, to Castlerigg Stone Circle. The quality of the writing was awesome and a number of the students read out their pieces to the audience who assembled at The Oddfellows Arms in Caldbeck. Prizes and certificates were presented by Ian Loftus and the judging was done by local writer Mike Smith.
Our Open Evenings, once again proved enormously popular, with 650 visitors attending the school on the evenings of 16 and 17th September. The evening tours were also supplemented by individual tours of the school during the school day. Over 50 visits were conducted over the two weeks beginning 22nd September 2014 and, in the week beginning 5th October 2014, more than 150 families toured the school as larger groups. With our recruitment into Year 7 this year being approximately 25 greater than the figures indicated by the Local Authority we are expecting another big intake in September 2015.
On 2nd October 2014 it was National Poetry Day. As usual the Learning Resource Centre organised a visit by a nationally acclaimed poet to inspire poetry writing amongst students. This year it was Huddersfield-based poet Donovan Christopher. Year 7 pupils had a great time creating their own ‘Raps’ and the overall winners for the best performance were The Memories from 7NB.
On Friday 17th October we had a non-uniform day. Most of the pupils joined in and paid their £1 to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation and our next Tanzania visit in the summer of 2015.
In addition to all of the above, the extra classes for GCSE and A-level revision have already started; the Drama Department is in full flow with rehearsals for the Christmas production, Animal Farm; Mr Shearer is working with pupils to create another Christmas Single following the previous release, which was such a massive success; the Music Department is planning a music tour to London and a Wind Band/Orchestra tour to Paris; there are dance trips to Newcastle, English trips to London, drama visits to the Theatre by the Lake and a psychology department trip to The British Psychological Society conference in Sheffield.
On top of all of this, this Thursday is our third annual Prize Day. This is one of the major events in the school year and presents an important opportunity for the College to celebrate all of those qualities that we value so much in our pupils. The range of talent, academic potential, sporting prowess, musical ability and artistic flair across the College is stunning. Added to that there are pupils who make outstanding progress during their time here and still others who do remarkable things in the service of their community or who display a super attitude towards others. We are delighted that our celebrations will be enhanced by the presence of ITV actor Adam Thomas aka Adam Barton from Emmerdale. I’m sure all of the 2000 pupils, parents, visitors and sponsors of prizes will be entertained by Adam and the tremendous performances we will see from pupils. The Drama Department is presenting a short piece entitled A History of Theatre, written by Matthew Forrest; dancers are performing a fusion piece blending traditional ballet with street dance; the Music Department is featuring the wind band of 45 pupils who will perform Firework by Katy Perry and finally there’ll be a performance by our very own National Schools’ Champions Cheerleading Squad ‘UCC Wolves’.
I can’t wait. It’s the highlight of the entire school year.