WOAPA wins 'Red Kite Days' award 2023 - 'Best Children's Activity'
We are delighted to announce that we are an award-winner in the
'Red Kite Days' awards 2023
WOAPA - Performing Arts in Witney - wins the 'Best Kids Activity' category in the Red Kite Days awards 2023, voted by the public across Oxfordshire.
Husband & wife team Brian & Louise Conroy launched West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts (WOAPA) in March 2012, following a dance masterclass with Kylie Minogue's choreographer, Tim Noble.
The school started with just a Saturday morning session but due to demand they quickly opened a second school on Saturday afternoons.
The school's reputation spread, which meant a third school, on Friday evenings, was opened.
"It was really hard work getting an independent children's theatre school off the ground but the end result is worth it. Parents often comment that we far exceed anything local franchised theatre schools offer. People often talk about our 'WOAPA family', which includes our adult singers in our Witney Choirs, students and tutors & assistants and it does feel like that".
WOAPA recently opened an additional Musical Theatre class for students aged 16-21yrs, offering further tuition in Drama, Singing and Dance.
"We've had some very good advice from our business mentors over the years" comments WOAPA Principal, Brian.
"Our mentors advised us to always concentrate on what extra value we can offer our students, advising us against a 'cram them in and open as many schools as possible' mentality and so we have always worked to provide quality over quantity".
"We aim to provide the very best performing arts experience we can for our students whether they are 4 years old or 21.
That includes finding the very best tutors and offering the students some excellent opportunities. Our own children have attended various classes themselves so, as parents, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted to achieve - and what we wanted to avoid. We believe we offer fantastic additional opportunities to our students".
Previous students have been successful in gaining places at prestigious drama schools and organisations (RWCMD- Royal Welsh college of Music & Drama, NYMT - National Youth Music Theatre, Guildhall school of music, RBC - Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Academy of Music and Oxford School of Drama, for example).
At WOAPA we take pride in going that extra mile. We have arranged, and assisted our students to appear in local productions, professional stage shows (locally and national tours) in film, television and advertisements.
Our students have been successful at recent auditions for professional productions: students will be appearing in Jack & The Beanstalk at Oxford Playhouse this Christmas alongside students performing in Chipping Norton Theatre's pantomime 'Cinderella'
We also have lots of our students appearing in Oxford Operatics' production of Oliver the Musical! at the New Theatre Oxford in the New Year (2024)
"We decided to become a LAMDA examination centre and the first set of exams held by us in April 2019 saw 60 students pass with flying colours. Students can also study for Arts Awards with us for which I am a qualified Arts Award adviser (moderated by Trinity College, London & Arts Council England). In 2014, I was thrilled to be one of only six people, nationally, to receive an "Inspirational Adviser Award".
Brian & Louise are keen to work with the local community. Although both now working full-time for WOAPA, Louise has been a primary school teacher for nearly 30 years and Brian has worked in local Government and Social Services. In 2014, both were awarded the Witney Town Mayor's "Special certificate of recognition" for their work in the local community.
"We know how to make connections within the community, which is very important to us. You will often see our students and choirs performing at the local Christmas lights switch-on event, The Mayor's Carol concert or for the local Rotary/Round Table. We are often invited to perform at charity events and festivals. It's all good fun".
The Red Kite Days Awards are all about recognising and celebrating local businesses and groups with a family focus. Covering Oxfordshire, Buckingham and Berkshire, the awards give customers the opportunity to vote for who they think is the best.
"We have been shortlisted in business awards before but we have always felt the judges didn't fully understand what we are about. We don't have a shop or an office on the high street so we confused them a little. If only they had visited our weekend classes, they would have seen the WOAPA magic first-hand.
Franchised children's theatre schools often receive awards but what people don't realise is that they are handed out internally, by their own head office.
What I really like about the Red Kite Days awards is that our customers and the general public took the time to go online and vote for us.
You can't get a better endorsement than that".
To find out all about the Red Kite Days awards click here - Red Kite Days Award Winners - CLICK HERE
Have YOU ever wanted to be on the stage?
West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts is an independent Theatre School for children aged 4-21 years, which operates at weekends during the standard academic term.
Our classes are led by experienced tutors whose skills in working with young people enable our students to develop at their own pace, and encourage them to reach their true potential.
Providing quality tuition in the three disciplines of Singing, Dance and Drama, our classes ensure that your child receives the individual attention he or she deserves.
We promote a positive environment - where students have fun as they celebrate their individuality and achievements.
Working as part of a team, students are encouraged to be creative and become multi-disciplined, all-round performers.