It might not be Fame Academy, students hit all the right notes this summer in a series of some of the toughest music theatre exams.
Staged by the London College of Music/University of West London, at Grade 8 and Diploma level the exams demand not just outstanding performances, but full costume and props, before entrants are quizzed on their musical theatre knowledge and characterisation.
Five students and one former student from LOGS didn’t just shine on stage – their polished performances earned one a merit and five a distinction.
Ella Prior-McIntosh and Iona Foster-Gandey, both 14, Honey Mooncie, Ellen Richmond, and Millie Long, all 16, and Gus Heydon-Corrie, aged 18, all studied under LOGS’ head of singing, Rachel Munro.
The exams are among the toughest for secondary students. Pupils have to prepare three or four songs, wear the appropriate costume with props and perform from memory. They are also required to answer questions about the history of musical theatre, dramatic and vocal techniques used and know the narrative context of their chosen pieces.
“To achieve these grades at such a high level across the board is outstanding. When I first started working at LOGS 10 years ago there were only two singing students and no choir. Now there are 22 and we’ve had to employ a second singing teacher to cope with demand,” said Rachel, who also runs four successful school choirs, including the hugely popular Vox Showchoir who recently performed at Love Supreme Jazz Festival where they shared the bill with none other than The Jacksons and Herbie Hancock.
“Although exams can be stressful, singing should always be enjoyed, whether you’re listening or performing,” Rachel continued.
“Studies have found that singing can help academic achievement and I’ve seen how it can help children’s confidence grow so I believe it’s very important that we continue to encourage children to take it up.”