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St. Mary's students entertain Spanish audiences on Barcelona tour


Talented young musicians from St. Mary’s College have been entertaining Spanish audiences as part of a one-week visit to Tossa de Mar near Barcelona. More than 60 students and eight members of staff were involved in the music tour which featured members of four St. Mary’s ensembles - the Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Stage Band.
They performed three concerts including one on a bandstand overlooking a busy beach and another in the beautiful setting of a local church where the acoustics were outstanding. Away from the concert platform the students also enjoyed a wide range of activities in excellent weather including trips to a water park, a theme park and an aquarium.
Sightseeing and shopping in Barcelona were also on the schedule with particular highlights being a visit to Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia Basilica, a cable car ride across the harbour and a trip on a glass bottom boat along the Mediterranean coastline. Many of the young musicians will also remember the tour for the entertainment at the hotel provided by popular DJ and dancer Victor who proved a big hit with the students.
Commenting on the trip, Director of Music Andrew Byers said, “This was an excellent tour which saw our students performing a varied and difficult programme. Many people commented on the high standard and professionalism of their musicianship and on the bandstand many locals stopped sunbathing to listen to them instead, which is praise indeed in Barcelona!”
Music is a very important feature of life at St. Mary’s with regular highlights including the school’s Festival of Music at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall in the spring and the Proms in the Park music-and-fireworks extravaganza every July. The school also arranges regular overseas concert tours. Recent destinations have included Austria and Switzerland but there have been previous tours of Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.
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Head Boy and Head Girl roles for Jake and Niamh

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St. Mary’s College has appointed two local students to the key roles of Head Boy and Head Girl for the new school year. The announcement comes as the school marks the 25th anniversary of becoming fully co-educational in September 1989.
Head Boy Jake Huxley from Seaforth is studying for A Levels in Mathematics, Physics and History. He is equally active away from the classroom and has been involved in the school orchestra and Combined Cadet Force, and as a member of the science, chess, drama and electronics clubs. 17-year-old Jake is also involved in St. Mary’s mentoring scheme for younger pupils, outreach work at local primary schools and voluntary work at his local parish church.
Meanwhile, Head Girl Niamh Thomas, aged 17, from Blundellsands, is taking A Levels in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. She represents St. Mary’s at hockey and is a talented musician and singer with the school’s various orchestras and choirs. She is soon to appear as Sandy in the school’s forthcoming production of the musical Grease. Niamh is actively involved in Sixth Form outreach, organising groups of volunteers to visit the Seel Street mission in Liverpool to feed the homeless and disadvantaged. Niamh spent her summer holidays working alongside professional scientists at Liverpool University on a secret research project, with her placement at Unilever funded by the Nuffield Foundation. She has also completed work placements with both Aintree University Hospital and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and intends to study medicine at university.
Jake commented: “It’s a great honour to have been appointed Head Boy. There’s a great community feel here at St. Mary’s which I would like to build on by strengthening the links between different year groups at the school even further.”
Niamh, who attended Kindergarten and The Mount, added, “I have been at St. Mary’s since the age of three and I am delighted to have the opportunity to be Head Girl this year. I am sure Jake and I will make a great team.” 
St. Mary’s Principal Mike Kennedy says Jake and Niamh have done extremely well to be appointed to these prestigious roles because choosing a Head Boy and Girl is a rigorous and challenging process at the school. Initially staff nominate a number of pupils who they feel should be considered for the positions. Then staff and sixth formers are invited to cast their votes to produce a shortlist of eight. The final selection is then made on the basis of interviews with these candidates conducted by the Principal and the Head of Sixth Form.
Mr Kennedy commented, “Our decision was that Jake and Niamh are ideally suited to the roles of Head Boy and Girl, combining a wide range of personal achievements and skills with an impressive track record of service to the school and the wider community.”


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