Student Focus: Olivia
25 April 2021
Olivia has been a much-valued member of Guiseley School’s music department since her arrival in Year 7. From an early age she was keen to learn to play an instrument and began playing the cornet when she was in Year 2 – a cornet seemed a manageable size at that age! Six years later and she’s now working towards her Grade 6 exam, alongside singing and dancing lessons. She helps to lead the brass section in Guiseley School’s flagship ensembles, Soul band and Wind band, and has even choreographed the brass section for their performances. She plays for Bradford Youth Brass Band and also played the Last Post in Guiseley at the Remembrance Service in 2019.
In 2019 Olivia joined Elland Silver Youth Band and was lucky enough to go to Montreux with them to compete in the European Championships that year. Since the first lockdown the band have continued their Saturday morning rehearsals on Zoom with guest tutors from some of the country's most well known brass bands. They have performed in virtual concerts including a 25th Anniversary Concert, produced a Facebook Advent Calendar, and were placed runners up in the Cory On-line Youth Championships last month. Since March last year, Olivia had only been able to perform with her band in person on one occasion - as part of a small group playing carols on Christmas Eve outside Halifax Minster during their 'walk through' crib service. Finally after, thirteen months, they have just begun rehearsals together again.
Olivia recently entered a national vocal competition through her dance school and with the help of her singing teacher, coming second in her age category. During lockdown, Olivia has continued to work towards dance exams, progressing to Grade 5 in Ballet and Modern and Grade 4 in Tap. Zoom dancing lessons have formed part of Olivia’s weekly routine since last March with the lounge being transformed into a dance studio.
Olivia can always be relied upon to say an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to new musical ideas and to get involved with activities organised by Guiseley School’s music department. During lockdown she has recorded pieces for the two school lockdown ensemble projects.