We've had an exciting and busy half term in the Music department. Below is a round up of the events that we've been part of.
Young Voices Concert
Senior Choir have been busy learning a huge repertoire of songs and medleys since last October in preparation for the Young Voices Concert at the O2, which was on Tuesday evening. Forty seven very excited children set off to the O2 with Mrs Izard, Mrs O'Hare, Mr Lloyd, Mrs Gunther and Mr Stewart. Every year, thousands of children take part in the series of concerts which have been taking place in various arenas around the country for the last 22 years. With a full band and backing singers as well as guest solo artists, it makes for a memorable evening and this year was no exception.
We arrived at the O2 in plenty of time and had lunch before we started our 3 hour rehearsal. Once again, we were sitting in the front few rows of the top tier of the arena and had a perfect view of the stage, conductor and musicians. Nearly 8,000 children were taking part in the massed choir, and the sound was impressive when everyone began to sing. The guest soloists this year were jazz and soul singer Natalie Williams, who had composed the song 'Extraordinary' especially for the Young Voices Choir;16 year old singer Alfie Sheard, and the M4GNETS, the a cappella/ beatbox group. Dance troupe Urban Strides added to the mix with some slick and entertaining dance moves.
After tea, we returned to the arena to play our annual game of 'spot the parent' through Mr Lloyd's binoculars, and although we weren't particularly successful, we waved energetically and shouted as loud as we could to try to get their attention!
At 7 o'clock the lights were dimmed and the concert began with a medley of songs based on TV cartoons - 'Name that Toon'. All of the repertoire is chosen to give the children a wide variety of musical styles to learn and enjoy. Favourites were the 'Stevie Wonder Medley' and 'Pop goes the Classics', a medley of songs based on classical favourites. There were dance moves to learn too - and not just for the children. Andy Instone, the artistic director, even managed to get the parents on their feet! Throughout the performance there were some fantastic lighting effects which made the performance even more spectacular.
We all had a brilliant, fun packed day and evening and staff and children returned to school tired but in high spirits. This certainly was a night to remember!
Chamber Choir success
Many congratulations to the 24 members of Gateway Chamber Choir who have got through to the finals of the National Choral Competition for the second year running. They will be competing during the day and performing in an evening gala concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Monday 12th March. Chamber Choir will also be performing at the Bellevue Music Festival the following Monday, so the children are working really hard to prepare for both of these important events.
On Thursday evening we had our first Music Tea of the year. Fifteen soloists from Years 2 to 6 and trumpet club delighted a supportive audience with their performances. These concerts are a great opportunity for both beginners and the more accomplished players to take to the stage and share their talents. For a few it was the first time they'd played in front of an audience, however the nerves seemed to melt away once they began to play and they enjoyed the challenge and the applause. As usual we indulged in delicious refreshments at the end of the concert - chocolate muffins were a well deserved treat for the performers!