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Blue Coat School’s ambition to expand its community outreach activities exceeded all expectations when a Dutch high school asked if it could visit during a culture trip to the city on Thursday 12 March. The group of thirty one students and three staff from De Amersfoortse Berg School, near Utrecht in the Netherlands, were the first ever Dutch school to visit Blue Coat School.

The School is increasing its public profile with organ and choral concerts following the restoration of its historic 145-year-old Father Willis organ, thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, as part of the Blue Coat For All project.

Headteacher Mrs Yates, said: “We’re honoured to welcome De Amersfoortse Berg School. This visit very much fits our remit from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to engage with the ‘outside community’ as far as possible – although we never anticipated our outreach would go as far as the Netherlands!”

After hearing Year 13 students Daniel Greenway and Simon Cheung play both School organs, the Dutch students were hosted in the Music Department by Director of Music Mr Simon Emery, to hear solo performances by Year 12 students Rachel Burnett, Luke James, Coby O’Brien and Alison Yan. After lunch in the Robert Styth Study Room the group enthusiastically applauded the finale by the Flute group and Blue Coat Organ Scholar George Ke, playing the Clavinova.

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