The Hammond School
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|President||Mr W. Bromley-Davenport|
|Chairman of Directors||Mr J. McLintock|
Irene Hammond founded the Hammond School of Dancing in 1917, when she took over an established dance school in Chester. She expanded the school to include a full programme of performing arts studies. Betty Hassall became the principal of the school in 1946 and was responsible for much of the school's development, most notably the introduction of academic studies in 1965. This enabled the school to become a boarding school offering a full academic curriculum alongside vocational studies, with pupils attending from across the United Kingdom.
Today, The Hammond comprises a Prep school, secondary school and sixth form for pupils aged 11–18 years, which offers specialist vocational training in Dance, Drama and Music. It also has a three-year professional course leading to the National Diploma in Professional Dance or the National Diploma in Musical Theatre, validated by Trinity College, London. Sixth form also offers a BTEC in Performing Arts (acting) combined with 2 A levels. The school is accredited to the Council for Dance Education and Training and is a member of the Independent Schools Association. The Hammond is a MADE (Music and Dance Excellence) School, one of 8 schools in England funded by the Music and Dance Scheme, offering full bursaries to talented young people.
Notable Alumni have included:
- Chris Barton (Actor and singer, best known for being one of the finalists of BBC One's Any Dream Will Do.)
- Nicole Deon (Actress, dancer and singer, credits include the 2015 tour of Mack and Mabel featuring Michael Ball, and the original cast of The Wind in the Willows (2016 musical).)
- Amy Diamond (Actress, singer, glamour model and one of the finalists of BBC One's Over the Rainbow.)
- Charlie Dixon (Dancer who earned a scholarship to The Hammond after achieving fame on ITV One's Britain's Got Talent. Whilst on the show he competed as part of the dance duo Cheeky Monkeys and made it through to the series 2 final.)
- Daniel Dolan (Classical dancer, Daniel went on to be the third British male dancer ever to be accepted by the prestigious Russian Bolshoi Ballet Academy. After graduating from The Bolshoi Academy, with a diploma and special honours, he joined the prestigious Corps of The Lithuanian National Ballet, achieving a promotion to coryphée in his second season.)
- Kade Ferraiolo (Actor, signer and dancer, Kade’s West End credits include Aladdin and We Will Rock You. He has performed in UK tours of significant musicals such as Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mack and Mable, and the international tour of Mamma Mia!. Kade also has appeared in a number of operas, performing at The Royal Opera House in Carmen and La Traviata, and at The English National Opera in Jonathan Miller’s production of The Mikado. Kade has also danced for The English National Ballet in their 2008 production of Swan Lake. Kade was a contestant on the second series of Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life where he lasted in the competition for seven consecutive weeks.)
- James Hobley (Dancer who achieved fame as a contestant on ITV One's Britain's Got Talent where he got through to the series final. Before the final he had auditioned for The Hammond and was offered a scholarship.)
- Lem Knights (Actor and singer, best known for competing on BBC One's The Voice where he was coached by both Jessie J and Will.i.am. He appeared on the show whilst still studying for his A-levels at The Hammond.)
- Joel Harper-Jackson (Actor, credits have included Beautiful: The Carole King Musical in the West End, Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, and the National Theatre's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.)
- Jordan Li-Smith (Musical director, arranger, composer, conductor, lyricist, pianist and singer. When he was 13 years old Jordan was one of the finalists of the BBC One's I'd Do Anything, from which later he appeared as part of Fagin's gang in the 2009 London revival of Oliver!. He graduated from The Hammond and, aged 19, was offered one of only two places to study Musical Direction and Coaching at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then he has been the musical director to a number of London musicals and was awarded the 2017 Off West End Award for Best Musical Director for Ragtime at the Charing Cross Theatre. He also has his own production company Jord&Co. Productions.)
- Alex Pinder (Actor, dancer and singer, Alex graduated from The Hammond and went on to study at the Urdang Academy. West End Credits include as Alonzo/Swing in the 2014 - 2015 production of Cats, ensemble/acrobat in the 2016 run of Aladdin, and ensemble member of the 2017 run of Wicked.)
- Fenella Masse Mathews (famous Franco-British dancer of the Parisian cabarets Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse.)
- George-Murray Nightingale (Classical Ballet Dancer, George attended the lower school before continuing his training at the English National Ballet School, London. Since graduating in 2015 George has been a member of leading ballet companies around the world such as English National Ballet, The National Ballet of Romania and The Royal Ballet of Flanders. Currently a dancer with The Australian Ballet, Melbourne.
- Jorgie Porter (Actress and model, known best for portraying Theresa McQueen on the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks and for being a contestant on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and Dancing on Ice.)
- Henwood, Jo (25 June 2009). "Russian ballet star Irek Mukhamedov gives masterclass at The Hammond School". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- "Former Bolshoi star gives masterclass at Chester dance school". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Henwood, Jo (25 March 2015). "Bolshoi ballet star visits dancers at The Hammond". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Bird, Rebecca (31 January 2017). "Russian ballet dancer hosts workshops at Chester's Hammond School". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Henwood, Jo (22 January 2016). "Hammond School Hall of Fame - where are they now?". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Billinge lad's big stage break". Johnston Publishing Ltd. St. Helens Reporter. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Matthews, Lucy; Mayoh, Emma; O’Grady, Rebekka (12 March 2017). "12 rising stars from Cheshire". Cheshire Life. Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Over The Rainbow contestant Amy Diamond - and Dorothy". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Dillon, Jonathon (2 January 2011). "Pendle's Cheeky Monkeys split up". Newsquest Media Group Ltd. Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Ex-Chester Hammond School student Daniel Dolan returns home from The Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "KADE FERRAIOLO - Profile". Stage Faves. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
- Henwood, Jo (9 June 2011). "Britain's Got Talent finalist James Hobley to study at The Hammond School in Chester". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Griffiths, Josie (22 April 2017). "THE REAL BILLY ELLIOT: Remember Britain's Got Talent's ballet boy James Hobley? Here's what he's up to now". News Group Newspapers. The Sun. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Henwood, Jo (18 April 2013). "Hammond School student Lem Knights says The Voice coach Jessie J is 'amazing'". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- De Lucia, Carmella (23 September 2015). "Armed police stormed actor Joel Harper-Jackson's home after rehearsal misunderstanding". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Joel Harper Jackson's profile on Creative Artists Management
- Bradbury, Howard (2 May 2014). "Jordan Li-Smith sets course for West End stardom". Cheshire Life. Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Winners of the Offies announced". WhatsOnStage. WhatsOnStage.com Inc. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Alex Pinder Stage Faves Performer Profile". Stage Faves. Stage Faves. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Holmes, David (16 November 2015). "I'm a Celebrity Jorgie Porter is ex-Chester student". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter shares style secrets at Grosvenor Shopping Centre". Trinity Mirror plc. The Chester Chronicle. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2017.