A spectacular night of musical prowess saw Weald House crowned champions of House Music 2017. Hosted by Mr Bulmer, Director of Performing Arts, and with a greatly enhanced staging and lighting direction, the evening provided a very high calibre of entertainment for the 1000 strong audience.
As is traditional, each House began with a set Partsong. This year saw Thomas Morley’s April is in my Mistress’ Face versioned seven times, the extra occurrence coming from a team of School staff. It was Weald’s excellent execution and strong timing thanks to the direction of Amelia Smith (Upper Sixth) that saw them win this section.
Section Two’s Ensemble featured impressive arrangements from Sixth Form students, and included themes from television, film and the West End. School House’s version of Duke Ellington’s Limbo Jazz particularly delighted the guest judge, Robin Browning, a performer, conductor and music educator, but the section winners were South House, with their interpretation of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, arranged by Rebecca Hawkins (Upper Sixth), and with a superb cello solo from Alex Lockyer in the First Year, who won the instrumentalist prize.
After a short interval, the pupils performed their Unison songs amid much energy and gusto. Carefully crafted choreography was the order of the day, and the First Years in the front row of the winning East House certainly enjoyed ‘rolling on the river’ as part of their Proud Mary routine, conducted by Louise Bottom (Upper Sixth), and it gained them a rare maximum 20 points.
Special mention must go to the Music Department, now led by Director of Music Mr Cooper, himself a former pupil and eager House Music participant, who paid tribute to all pupils and their House teachers for the tireless hours of rehearsals and dedication that they put into the event.
Awards were handed out as follows:
Overall Winner – Weald
Partsong – Weald (Amelia Smith)
Ensemble – South (Rebecca Hawkins)
Unison – East (Louise Bottom)
Musical Direction – Alfred Seaton (West)
Musical Arrangement – Rebecca Hawkins
Instrumentalist – Alex Lockyer
Headmaster Ian Davies thanked the audience for their support and congratulated all the participants for a wonderful evening of music. He took inspiration from the song ‘Proud Mary’ to say he hadn’t felt prouder since the examination results arrived in the summer.