Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|President||Leopold David de Rothschild|
|Founders||Grace Cone & Olive Ripman|
|DfE URN||117618 Tables|
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is an independent co-educational school specializing in dance . The school was renamed in January 2009 and was previously known as the Arts Educational School, Tring Park.
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 7–19 years. It comprises a preparatory school, secondary school, sixth form and further education at a professional level. It is a specialist provider of vocational training in the performing arts, with a syllabus that includes Dance, Drama, Music, Musical Theatre and Theatre Arts. Vocational studies are supported by a full academic syllabus from Key Stage 2 to A-level standard. As one of the leading schools for the performing arts in the United Kingdom, it is one of only twenty-one schools selected to allocate Government funded Dance and Drama Awards, a scholarship scheme established to subsidise the cost of professional dance and drama training for the most talented pupils at leading institutions. The school also offers a community outreach programme known as Reach4Dance and has a part-time pre-vocational dance and performing arts school known as the Junior Conservatoire programme.
The school was first founded in 1939 and was originally known as the Cone-Ripman School. It was formed as a result of a merger between the Cone School of Dancing founded in 1919 by Grace Cone, and the Ripman School founded in 1922 by Olive Ripman.
The Cone-Ripman School was first based in premises at Stratford Place in London, but following the outbreak of World War II, it was relocated to Tring in Hertfordshire, using various rented buildings. In 1941, the school reopened in London, but a second school continued to operate in Tring. In 1945, the Rothschild Bank vacated the mansion at Tring Park, which had been its temporary base during the war, and the Rothschild family permitted the school to use the premises on a permanent basis. Tring Park remains the school's sole campus to this day and in 1947, the school was renamed the Arts Educational School, Tring Park, with the London school becoming the Arts Educational School, London. In 1970, the school acquired the freehold of the mansion and grounds and began a redevelopment of the site, financed by the sale of unused land. The refurbished building was officially opened in 1976 by the Duchess of Kent. The school was later extended in 1990, with the opening of the Markova Theatre by HRH The Prince Edward. In 1993, the school purchased the former St Francis de Sales Convent for use as offsite boarding accommodation for senior pupils. A second house was purchased for use as boarding accommodation in 1994.
Later in 1994, the Arts Educational Schools Trust decided that it was in the best interests of both the London and Tring schools, for them to be run separately. This led to the formation of the AES Tring Park School Trust, which acquired the school and is now solely responsible for its ongoing management. In 2009, to further identify the school as an independent institution, it changed its name to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. The London school continues to operate, and is commonly known as ArtsEd.
In December 2009 the school started a major building project that will see five new dance studios, then in the second phase a new art block and sixth form centre, then in the final phase a new theatre that will have a larger stage to accommodate the annual Musical Theatre and Dance Course shows. Whilst the Markova Theatre will be mainly used for Music and Drama performances.
For many years, the school's President was the renowned Prima Ballerina Assoluta, Dame Alicia Markova. Now, after the death of Dame Alicia Markova, the president is Leopold David de Rothschild CBE, and the vice Presidents are Irek Mukhamedov OBE and Howard Goodall CBE.
History of the Mansion
Tring Park was built to a design of Sir Christopher Wren in 1685 and was visited several times by Charles II. The Mansion and the surrounding Park were owned by a succession of wealthly families, including ancestors of George Washington.
Sir William Gore, Lord Mayor of London bought the house in 1705 and it remained in his family for two subsequent generations. in 1786, it was sold to Sir Drummond Smith, a London banker, who refurbished the interior in Georgian style and remodelled the park in the fashion made popular by "Capability" Brown. William Kay, a Manchester textile magnate, bought the estate in 1823 and in 1838, Nathan de Rothschild began renting Tring Park as a summer residence. When the property was sold in 1872, Lionel de Rothschild bought it as a wedding present for his son, Sir Nathaniel (later Lord) de Rothschild.
Lord Rothschild's family grew up and lived at Tring Park until the death of the dowager Lady Rothschild in 1935. The house was used by the NM Rothschild & Sons bank during World War II before being taken over by the Arts Educational School in 1945.
Notable former pupils
- Dame Julie Andrews, DBE (The Cone-Ripman School, Tring site) Actress best known for films; Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music
- Dame Beryl Bainbridge, DBE (deceased), (The Cone-Ripman School, Tring site) Actress/writer  In 2008, The Times newspaper named Bainbridge among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
- Aeronwy Thomas, (deceased), (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Writer/translator of Italian poetry and daughter of Dylan Thomas, patron of the Dylan Thomas Society
- Jane Seymour, OBE (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Hollywood actress, best known for TV series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
- Michael Learned, (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Actress, best known for her role in The Waltons
- Thandie Newton, (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Hollywood actress and star of films such as; The Pursuit of Happyness, Run Fatboy Run, Mission: Impossible II and Crash
- Jessica Brown Findlay, Actress, best known for TV series Downton Abbey as a lead character: Lady Sybil Crawley (2010/11)
- Amy Nuttall, Actress and singer, best known for West End musical Guys and Dolls, TV series' Emmerdale & Downton Abbey (2011)
- Emma Cunniffe, Actress, best known for BBC TV's series The Lakes, Doctor Who series 6 (2011)
- Caroline Quentin, Actress and comedienne, best known for TV series' Men Behaving Badly, Blue Murder and BBC's, Life of Riley
- Valerie Singleton, OBE, (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Former BBC TV co-presenter of; Blue Peter, Nationwide, The Money Programme, etc.
- Geraldine Somerville, Actress known for her role of; Lily Potter in the Harry Potter films and the film Gosford Park
- Louise Griffiths, Songwriter/Singer/Actress, best known for BBC TV's Fame Academy (2003)
- Sarah Brightman, (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Operatic singer, dancer and actress. Celebrated star of Lloyd Webber's Phantom
- Stephanie Lawrence (deceased) (Arts Educational School, Tring site) Musical theatre actress, celebrated star of;Lloyd Webber's Evita and original cast lead of Starlight Express
- Charlie Bruce (Charlotte), Jazz Dancer/West End performer (Dirty Dancing) and winner of BBC1's, So You Think You Can Dance (UK) Season 1, (2010)
- Jack Allen, Musical theatre performer/dancer, Cats Germany (2011), previously principal dancer of: Ballet Theatre UK and Artist of English National Ballet
- John Gilpin (deceased) (The Cone-Ripman School, Tring site), Classical ballet dancer, 'arguably the finest male dancer England has yet produced, the most purely classical'  founder member of Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet)
- Rupert Pennefather, (Arts Educational School, Tring site), Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet
- Joshua Thew, Corps de Ballet, New York City Ballet
- Ben Stevenson OBE 'most influential mentors' Eve Pettinger http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1083/is_12_83/ai_n45144389/
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