Music and MSJ
At Malvern St James (MSJ), Music is a big part of who we are. It is at the heart of school life, setting the mood and sense of occasion for events large and small. It is the centrepiece of ceremonies such as Carol and Commemoration Services at Great Malvern Priory, and the Spring Concert in York Hall. It also weaves into the day-to-day, the ordinary rhythm of school life. It is what we do just for the joy of it, like in our House and Ships singing competitions, morning Assemblies, hymn practice and the MSJ Variety Show.
It is also a key element of academic study and enrichment for students, who play at some of the most prestigious performance spaces in the UK and internationally. Many girls participate in the National Youth Choir and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, and are choristers (and, indeed, Head Chorister) at Worcester Cathedral. The girls enjoy superb performance opportunities, such as Faure’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handel’s Messiah, working with composers and conductors such as Dr Donald Hunt and Professor Richard Chew, as well as being taken all around the world to some of the most exciting live music events across a broad range of genres.
Why does Music matter?
Some of our girls are extraordinarily gifted musicians, who have achieved Grade 8 and Diploma level in more than one musical discipline, who study Music at GCSE and A Level, and choose to study it at conservatoires and universities. Others engage with it for pleasure, and because they love it as a balance to the demands of academic life.
In whatever capacity they choose to participate, music teaches our girls about the benefits of collaboration, the rewards of self-discipline and the fulfilment that comes from artistic expression.
Continuing the tradition of Music at our founding schools:
MGC, St James’s, The Abbey, St James’s & The Abbey and Lawnside
Music is a tradition that runs through the history of our founding schools. At MGC, older Old Girls will remember Miss Jackman and her love of the bone prop to keep the mouth open during singing practice, and amazing performances in York Hall from the likes of the Birmingham Philharmonic String Orchestra and French cellist Paul Tortelier. Later, Director of Music, Miss Elaine Hugh-Jones, a renowned composer, similarly inspired students.
At The Abbey and Lawnside schools, girls were taught by Sir Ivor Atkins, the organist at Worcester Cathedral. At St James’s and St James’s & The Abbey, the creative arts were always at the centre of the curriculum, under music directors such as Miss Valerie Byrom-Taylor and Mrs Penny Vere. In the 1950s, the choir was trained by Sir David Willcocks, then at Worcester Cathedral. Lawnside was renowned for its links with The Malvern Festival, Elgar and Benjamin Britten. In the 1930s, Lawnside girls were the first to perform Elgar’s Wand of Youth.
You only have to look at the extraordinary musical talent in our Old Girl network to find evidence of the importance of music at MSJ now and historically. From professional musicians and opera singers, to composers and directors, alumnae are out there contributing to the cultural life of the nation and we want to make sure this continues.
Three decades of leading Music in Malvern
Mrs Lynne Lindner has led music performance at MSJ, and before that at founding schools, St James’s, and St James’s & The Abbey, since 1993. She retires at the end of term in July 2020. In her three decades, she has nurtured many, many cohorts of girls, who cite her inspirational influence.
To mark her contribution, and to ensure a legacy of music-making at the highest level, Lynne and Headmistress Mrs Olivera Raraty announce the creation of The Lynne Lindner Music Award, a scholarship with bursary assistance which will be granted to girls with exceptional musical talent.
Mrs Lindner comments, “I have always tried to instil a love of music and the creative arts in the girls I have taught. I believe in giving pupils the very best of the arts and creating experiences that will challenge them, stir curiosity and ignite joy. I’d like to see more girls taking up the rigours of studying academic music to A level, and many more generations of girls singing Elgar’s The Snow, playing concerto movements, visiting concert halls and cathedrals and singing their school song.”
“It has been my privilege to work with such talented staff and students. I will cherish the many wonderful memories I have of my time at MSJ, St James’s and St James’s & The Abbey.”
“I hope you will share in this journey with me to pass on the joy and inspiration of music to successive generations. Your support means an enormous amount to me and to MSJ.”
The Lynne Lindner Music Award
The Lynne Lindner Music Award will be open to Sixth Form students applying externally or internally. The school plans to create up to 10 Lynne Lindner Music Award scholarships, giving award holders unparalleled access to specialist teaching, physical resources, extra-curricular opportunities and first-class mentoring. Each award holder will receive a bursary that funds all or a significant part of her place at MSJ on a means-tested basis.
Schools fees to provide a day place for a Sixth form girl for two years total £39,750. Thankfully, matched funding has been secured to meet much of this expense, with £10,000 remaining to be found to fully fund a Lynne Lindner Music Awardee for two years.
Funds may also allow girls to board, for example on a flexi basis so that they can fully participate in evening performances and practice.
Ten possible Awards for this life changing opportunity have been match-funded. We are therefore asking our School community to make generous gifts to raise the final £100,000 needed to fully implement this life-changing programme.
Mrs Raraty, Headmistress of MSJ, comments, “Lynne’s contribution to school life has been immense. Teaching is a tough job – to do it well, you have to put your heart and soul, and more, into it. Music is in the MSJ lifeblood, and perhaps now more than ever, we appreciate the ability of music to lift us and bring us together. We want to extend the gift of music to more girls who can’t be with us without financial assistance, and to continue the tradition of music at MSJ under Head of Music Mrs Lucy Miller and her team. If you can help us achieve this, by donating to the bursary fund to support the Lynne Lindner Music Award, you will be creating an enormous impact.”
Can you help us?
We realise that the pandemic has created financial uncertainties, with many deserving charities in need of your support. However, if you so choose, it is also now possible for us working together to take advantage of this wonderful philanthropic opportunity. Your gift would not only help create a life-changing Award, but enhance the overall musical offering, benefitting the whole School community in so many meaningful ways.
Every gift will help take us one step closer to achieving our £100,000 goal. You may choose to pledge your gift over a five-year period, to spread the expense and the available Gift Aid. For example, a 40% tax payer making a gift of £120 per annum – just £10 per month – with Gift Aid will sum to a contribution of £1,000 over five years. For a 20% tax payer, £1,000 can be given by pledging just over £13 per month (net).
For further information, please email Fiona Meredith, Development Director, or call on 01684 584613/ 07905 762407