We've had a really busy and exciting time in the Performing Arts Department this term. In January, 45 member of Senior Choir enjoyed taking part in the annual Young Voices Concert at the O2 arena. We had been learning the large repertoire of songs since September, so it was a great experience to sing as part of an 8,000 strong choir. The day was long and tiring but everyone involved, both staff and children, had a fabulous time and many of us were still singing the songs from the concert on the journey home. Mrs Izard has already registered to take part in the Young Voices Concert next year!
Year 6 began preparations for their end of year musical - the Lion King. All the children took part in a very enjoyable dance workshop led by Mrs O'Hare in the hall to the song 'They live in you'. Everyone focused really well and managed some very complicated moves!
In February we had our first Music Tea of the year. Twenty five children from Year 3 to Year 6 took part in the concert, playing a lovely selection of music from classical to rock on the piano, flute, classical guitar, baritone and tenor ukelele and drum kit. We also enjoyed some ensemble playing from the recorder group. These concerts continue to be a great platform for children of all abilities and give them the opportunity to play to an appreciative audience, from beginners to the more advanced.
One of the highlights of the term for Chamber Choir was singing at the National Choir Competition at the Royal Festival Hall in London. In November last year, Mrs Izard submitted a recording of the choir to be considered for the Barnardo's National Choral Competition and heard in early January that out of hundreds of choirs from all over the country, Chamber Choir had been selected to take part in the final on 17 March. There were another seventeen schools in their category - age 12 and under, and seven choirs in the under 18 category. The children rehearsed twice a week from January right up to the day of the competition and worked incredibly hard to perfect and polish their performance. The competition took place throughout the day and there was a gala concert in the evening, when all the choirs came together to sing en masse. Singing on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall was an amazing experience and the children did Gateway proud - they put every ounce of energy into their performance and could not have sung better. They were fabulous. The gala concert in the evening was attended by an audience of around 1,500. All the choirs sang two songs as a massed choir and each individual choir was able to perform one of their competition songs. The winners of the competition were announced at the end of the concert, and although we didn't win, the experience of taking part in such a prestigious event was something that was very special and will not be forgotten.
On Tuesday this week, we finished the term with our last music tea of this academic year. Thirty instrumentalists took part, and it was great to hear such a range of instruments played so confidently - trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute, guitar, piano and drum kit. Again, we had a super range of musical styles from Bach to ACDC! What a fitting ending to what has been a busy and energetic term.
There's a lot to look forward to next term. On Thursday 25 May, we will be holding our annual Summer Concert at 7pm. This will be a showcase for all the choirs (including staff choir) as well as the instrumental ensembles (recorder group, trumpet club, orchestra) so please save the date. Finally, we've had some very exciting news this week - we have managed to secure the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham as the venue for our Year 6 production of Lion King on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 July. We will keep you informed about tickets to what will be a great performance.