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At the High School, it's our belief that creativity lies at the heart of great education, providing well-documented benefits in thinking skills, teamwork, leadership and health and wellbeing.
It’s at the core of our curriculum, but no more so than in the Performing Arts. We believe creativity exists in all of our pupils and through regular performances, public and internal, we seek to give them the opportunities, means and confidence to use it.
"Absolutely amazing – so professional. Loved every minute!"
"That was the most amazing amateur production I have ever seen. Absolutely brilliant!"
Drama performances are always a highlight of the High School year. And judging by these audience comments on some of our recent shows, not just for the pupils and staff involved!
The Drama department produces a large-scale musical biennially and two plays in alternate years for pupils in F2-6. Recent productions have included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Les Misérables, The Good Person of Szechwan and Our House.
Performances are public, with the musical productions staged at the Gardyne Theatre. Pupils routinely form the backstage and technical crew for all main school productions, and perform within a school band that provides the live music for the shows.
A particular highlight for our L6 and L7 pupils is the chance to perform in their own biennial musical production, which usually runs for a number of nights at the Gardyne Theatre. Recent shows have included Seussical the Musical and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
And our Early Years pupils aren’t left out. Every year children in L1-L3 take part in a Nativity performance, which is always a big hit with parents, grandparents, pupils and staff!
You can see a selection of photographs from some of our recent Drama performances in the gallery at the bottom of the page, and you can find galleries of our senior productions on the Drama department page.
Likewise, the School’s musical concerts are high quality events which frequently draw acclaim.
The Caird Hall is the venue for the two largest music events, the public Autumn and Spring Concerts. Usually featuring more than 400 pupils from the Junior and Senior Years, spread across the School’s full range of orchestras, choirs, string and chamber ensembles, the well-attended events include performances of classical and contemporary pieces, often under a unifying theme.
Throughout the year there are a number of additional performance opportunities for musicians of all ages and standards. Every week, a Performance Platform gives pupils throughout the School the chance to take to the stage with their chosen instrument. Each Christmas an atmospheric service takes place in St Paul’s Cathedral, which is also the venue for our Music in May concert. In the spring term, pianists throughout the School come together for a special Piano Day, and in the autumn term the annual senior school music competition sees pupils perform in day-time sessions followed by an evening recital concert.
Our talented musicians perform away from school as well. For instance, the School’s Pipe Band regularly takes part in competitions and has been asked to play at a number of events, including Dundee University graduation ceremonies. Meanwhile, in June 2017 the School’s Signing Choir had the honour of performing at an international conference on Inclusion.
You can see more images from some of our Musical performances on the Music co-curriculum page.
Smaller scale performances are also a feature of life at the High School. Assemblies, particularly in the Junior Years, often feature short musical or dramatic performances, while Junior and Senior talent shows provide creative outlets, not to mention a bit of fun. Pupils also have the opportunity to stage their own productions, with the School’s Interact Club having done this on a number of occasions to raise money for good causes.