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Arts and Events at St John’s

Summer series of events


The St John’s summer series of events gives staff, pupils, parents and friends of the School an exciting opportunity to explore politics, history and literature.

Taking place predominantly in the School’s Old Chapel, the 2016 summer series includes talks from the 14th Ambassador to Ireland, a renowned military historian and former head of the Islamic Media Unit. The talks take place on consecutive Wednesday evenings throughout May, and tickets should be booked online. All tickets include complimentary refreshments, which will be served on arrival.

The summer series is complemented by a major exhibition to recognise the involvement of Field Marshal, the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein with St John’s. The exhibition will be mounted in the Old Chapel from Tuesday 24 May to Saturday 28 May, and is free to visit.

Details of drama events will be announced shortly.

Concert - Boris Kucharsky and Markus Schlemmer

Thursday 5 May, 7.00pm in the Old Chapel

Violinist Boris Kucharsky and pianist Markus Schlemmer will perform a programme of Brahms, and this promises to be the highlight of the musical calendar.

Boris Kucharsky, a solo violinist, chamber musician, recording artist and teacher, has played with major orchestras worldwide including the Slovak Philharmonic and Radio Symphony, Dortmund Philharmonic, Karlsbad Symphony, European, Vienna and Prague Chamber Orchestras as well as the Gulf Coast Symphony. He teaches at the Menuhin School and at St John’s School, as well as the Guildhall School of Music.

Markus Schlemmer has worked as a guest at various chamber music formations such as Linos Ensemble or Scharoun Ensemble (Berlin Festival). He has been honoured in the press for his skills as a sensitive chamber musician and excellent accompanist. He has worked for the Chamber Opera Rheinsberg Castle, the National Singing Competition in Berlin and for the Schleswig Holstein music Festival (Masterclass chamber Brigitte Fassbaender). Since the beginning of 2005 he has worked as a teacher for the Shostakovich School of Music in Berlin Lichtenberg.

Tickets £15 (£10 concessions).

Free for St John’s pupils and staff.

Visiting speaker - Gerard Russell

Wednesday 11 May, 7.00pm in the Old Chapel

The School welcomes Gerard Russell, author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms and former Head and Spokesman for the Islamic Media Unit, to talk about Iraq and Syria.

While few in the UK would know the name Gerard Russell, to millions of Arabs he is the ‘voice of Britain’. After studying classics at Oxford, he joined the Foreign Office in 1995 and studied Arabic in Cairo. After serving three years in the British consulate-general in Jerusalem, he returned to London in 2001 and was asked to set up the Islamic Media Unit after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Mr Russell participated in around 200 interviews and debates in Arabic with print and broadcast media across the Middle East on a range of foreign policy issues concerning the Middle East. He served as Head and Spokesman for the Islamic Media Unit until 2003 when he was succeeded by Gerry McCrudden as Head and Dean McLoughlin as Spokesman.

Tickets £10 – include a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink on arrival.

Visiting speaker - Ambassador Mulhall

Wednesday 18 May, 7.00pm in the Old Chapel

The Headmaster invites the 14th Ambassador to Ireland, Daniel Mulhall, to St John’s, to speak on the state of Anglo-Irish Affairs and the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Educated at the University College of Cork, Ambassador Mulhall entered the Department of Foreign Affairs as a Third Secretary in March 1978, and was made Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain in 2013.

“The burden of history has for a long time weighed heavily on relations with the UK but the success of the Northern Ireland peace process which lifted a great weight from our shoulders has allowed our two countries to concentrate constructively on future cooperation.”

– Ambassador Mulhall, December 2013.

Event is free, however this event will be very popular and we require you to register your attendance online. Complimentary refreshments will be served on arrival.

Visiting speaker - Gary Sheffield

Wednesday 25 May, 7.30pm in the Chapel

“Field Marshal, the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein”

Military historian Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, will be giving a lecture on Field Marshal, the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein on Wednesday 25 May 2016.

Mr Sheffield’s academic career started in the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1985. While at Sandhurst, he studied part-time for his doctorate, and moved on to KCL in 1999 as Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies. Based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, he was also Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course, the UK military’s senior operational course.

In 2005 Mr Sheffield was awarded a Personal Chair by KCL, and moved to the University of Birmingham to take up the inaugural Chair of War Studies in 2006. In 2013 he joined the University of Wolverhampton as Professor of War Studies.

Tickets £10 – include a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink on arrival.

Exhibition - Celebrating Montgomery

Tuesday 24 May to Saturday 28 May in the Old Chapel

To recognise Monty’s significant involvement with St John’s, and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death in 1976, and the 50th anniversary of his stepping down as Chairman in 1966, we are mounting an exhibition in the Old Chapel next May. Handwritten letters, signed photographs, books, paintings and other memorabilia will be on show. The exhibition will be on show from Tuesday 24 May – Saturday 28 May.

Exhibition open daily. Free to visit.

Concert – All the King’s Men

Wednesday 8 June, 7.00pm in the Old Chapel

All the King's Men is a multi-award-winning a cappella group based at King's College London. Combining tight vocal harmonies with mesmerising choreography, this award-winning all male a cappella group presents a highly entertaining show for any occasion.

In 2012, just three years after the group’s conception, AtKM was crowned the University Champions of the Voice Festival UK and came third overall in the International Championships of Collegiate A cappella (ICCAs), held in New York. In 2013 and 2014 they once again proved their dominance in the collegiate a cappella scene by reaching the final of Voice Festival UK, as well as reaching the ICCA finals for a second time. In 2015, the group won the inaugural International semi-final of the ICCAs, and travelled to the final in April for the third time, an achievement unmatched by any other a cappella group outside the US.

This year is AtKM’s Fifth Anniversary and the most exciting year for the group yet. With an EP due to be released in July and our ongoing outreach and education programme, All the King’s Men continue to bring the best a cappella to new audiences.

Tickets £10 (£5 concessions).

Free for St John’s pupils and staff.