Friday, 7 December 2012

The Mount School York; a mix of Quakerism and fine singing

Another day driving, but this time to York, to the school where the headmistress is an old and dear pupil. I masterclassed some of the girls here a year or so ago, and found some lovely singing and some very responsive girls. It is The Mount School in York city centre, and feels like an oasis of peace and tranquility. Academically very high flying, but it's most important achievement is the ethos of the quiet Quaker life. Having said that, the girls are just as vibrant, lively and exciting as girls in any school, but I love the ambience and their ability to be silent, willingly !

The school is the only all girls Quaker School in the UK and when one moves around the place the calm is almost tangible, and the friendship is very apparent. The head, J, is not a Quaker, but has slotted into this distinctive and pleasing atmosphere easily and well. I am looking forward to meeting the Head of Music today, and perhaps organising another day of Masterclassing in the next year. How delightfully fulfilling it is to see ones old pupils doing such wonderful work in passing on what they learnt, as singing teachers, or passing on a generosity of themselves in a pastoral and managerial way. M in Durham, S in London and J in York. It really does make the years of hard graft feel SO worthwhile.

On the drive there was much snow in the midlands, and sub zero temperatures which meant for chilly visits to the Costa Coffee motorway cafes. Gretel the cavalier is now with me as we are finally on our way home. Sometimes I wonder if, when on long journeys, she thinks we now have been reduced to living in the car! She is so well behaved and so accepting of the situation it is quite remarkable for a small dog who is not yet 2 !

I am so looking forward to going home and my own bed, my own coffee aero press and my own wood burning stove! Of course mostly I am looking forward to friends and pupils, none of whom I have seen for what feels like a century!

Hopefully the snow will not be too heavy and I won't get trapped in Yorkshire........fingers and everything else crossed!

Have a look at The Mount School website, it really is a wonderful place.

The Georgian building and my old pupil and now Headmistress,

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