It's been a very busy couple of weeks in the music department. On Saturday 1st December Junior Choir, dressed in festive Christmas jumpers, sang four lively carols at the Christmas Fair. The hall was packed with parents and Christmas shoppers and their programme was energetic and charming - it was received with great enthusiasm.
On Tuesday 4th December, we had our last music tea of the year. This concert was used to showcase some of our talented instrumental and vocal groups - Orchestra, Trumpet club, Intermediate Recorders and Chamber Choir as well as a selection of soloists. All of these groups have been working really hard over the past term and it was great to hear what they have achieved. We experienced a wide range of musical styles from Bach to Bernstein with 40 performers taking part. This was the first time some of the children taking part had performed in front of an audience, which can be quite daunting, but everyone overcame their nerves and played brilliantly. The highlights for me were 'Over the Rainbow' played beautifully by Natalie F on the violin, a lyrical 'Pavane' played by Charlie M on the trumpet and 'Blowing in the Wind', played by Trumpet Ensemble. Congratulations to all the performers who took part and thank you to all the parents who came to watch - your applause was greatly appreciated.
Wednesday evening was one of my favourite nights of the year - the Senior Christmas Carol Concert, which is always an absolute joy to coordinate. The children in Years 5 and 6 have been learning and rehearsing their carols since half term and as ever, they performed their socks off. I always try to balance the programme by choosing carols which might be a bit 'different' and unfamiliar to some, as well as more traditional carols. Year 5 sang a contemporary version of 'Away in a Manger' and Year 6 performed 'It came upon a Midnight Clear' with a jazz waltz accompaniment, complete with drum kit. Chamber Choir and Senior Choir sang some challenging 2 and 3 part carols, including 'Baby Jesus Sleeps', 'Carol of the Bells' and 'O Holy Night'. There were some beautiful group and solo singing moments and it was lovely to hear so many confident performers, willing to 'have a go'. One of the most exciting moments for me was hearing Years 5 and 6 singing as a massed choir - at the beginning for 'Rejoice, rejoice!' and at the end for the French carol 'L'enfant au Tambour' and 'We need a little Christmas', a firm favourite from day one. Mrs O'Hare chose some thought provoking and poignant readings which reflected the lyrics of the carols; these were read clearly and expressively by some of the year 6 children. As ever, the church was full to the brim, and the audience of parents, friends and staff left the concert feeling happy and full of Christmas cheer for the holiday ahead.
Our final performance was yesterday afternoon - Chamber Choir went to sing to the residents at Woodlands Care Home. The children sang a selection of traditional carols as well as repeating a few numbers from their concert their previous evening. They were very well received and their audience really enjoyed singing along.
My thanks to all of the children, throughout the school, for working so hard to achieve wonderful performances of such a high standard. Rebecca Izard (Head of Creative Arts).