Year 7 Spring Celebration Evenings
This Celebration Evening was even better than the Autumn Showcase because everyone had improved on their instrument and had better pieces to show off to the eager parents. The night was jam-packed with brilliant music and I think we definitely impressed the audience!
The concert started with each group of instruments playing their assigned pieces of music. After every group finished their piece they bowed and enjoyed thunderous applause! There were also some solo performances played by great musicians. The piece that was my personal favourite was the James Bond Theme performed by Arlo in Datchelor on his trombone; it was a piece that you could tell that Arlo put a lot of effort into. The singers perfect two terrific pieces called “Nests” and “Birks of Aberfeldy”. It was good feeling to be applauded by such a vast audience.
Then the big moment was about to kick off: the moment we had all been waiting for, in fact!
The Wind Band performance of “Mambo No.5” where all the instruments would join together and play a piece was by far the greatest moment of the showcase. It was performed flawlessly. After the deafening applause by the audience we moved on to the song taught to us by Mr Kramer in Arts Enrichment sessions.
Then all of the Wind Band and the singers were brought together to perform “Don’t Stop Believin’” It was a great piece to finish off the Showcase! This was a night I will never forget and this showcase would not be possible without the help of the staff so thank you so much all the staff to putting together this Year 7 Celebration Evening!
We were all nervous and excited at the prospect of performing in front of teachers, parents and our peers. We had done it before in the autumn showcase, but time flies when you are having fun! We knew we had to perform four pieces in total: “Don’t Stop Believing” a song we had been practising for only a fortnight, “Nests”, a song we had started a month ago and “The Birks Of Alberfeldy”, another piece that we had also started learning only this term. We also performed an African work song that we were taught by Mr Kramer as part of the arts enrichment lessons on Wednesday afternoons. For the rehearsal, we were led to the John Jenkins Hall, where we were seated and waited patiently until we were to perform our first piece. Afterwards, we went to C3 and rehearsed “Don’t Stop Believing.” We were then dismissed. Whilst I went to the library, others went to the playground. Before we knew it, it was 6pm and we were called back into C3 and prepared for the showcase.
After a short, tense wait, we stood up and performed “Nests” and “The Birks Of Aberfeldy” A little later, after some wonderful music, we were ready to perform the two highlights of the night – the African work song and “Don’t Stop Believin'”. It went wonderfully. Afterwards, we headed up to C3, packed up and went home delighted with how we had performed.
These Celebration Evenings performances fused comedy (from the flute ensemble) and melancholia as well as talent from the profound expertise of the music teachers which encouraged the students’ fine performances.
The Evening started with a welcome greeting by the headmaster (Mr Cole) as well as Mr Lissimore before the percussion ensemble began with their piece. The flute ensemble then played a surprisingly familiar and comical song: Old Macdonald Had a Farm, albeit in a beautiful arrangement selected by Mr Franks. Later in the programme, the ‘one and only 7C’ performed their group piece on the trombone, receiving praise for their tremendous effort, before Arlo (7D) gave us the James Bond theme: a complex piece that must have required a huge amount of skill and effort.
After the individual instrumentalists performed their pieces, we enjoyed the group performances.
After the group pieces were finished, the awards were given out by Mr Cole, Mr Walters and Mr Lissimore to instrumentalists for ‘Most improved’ ‘Highly Commended’ and ‘Outstanding performance’ before doing awards of ‘Honesty’, ’Participation’ and ‘Friendship’, with many people receiving one or two awards.
The experience began with a highly professional rehearsal during the last period of Wednesday afternoon, and it provided an insight into the expectations for the evening itself. There was also an occasional lingering thought in my mind about the prospect of performing to my parents (which was nerve-racking enough!) but numerous other people who I wanted to impress and show how focused and determined we are in our singing.
The rehearsal ended with a mix of emotions, but after having a pleasant dinner, I told myself: "yes, you can do it - you can provide a great performance!" and I don’t think I was the only one who must have motivated himself in this way – what a performance it was!
As the lights dimmed, and silence descended, the show was on! However, my nerves kicked in and many questions flooded my mind: Will I remember my pieces? Will it all go according to plan?
Music began to dance in everyone’s ears as everyone exquisitely and immaculately played their instruments, virtually faultlessly. Then it was our turn. I stood up, with the rest of my fellow singers, with a newfound pride, and we sang two different songs (Nests and then The Birks of Aberfeldy). Later, we sang ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ with the wind band (all of the other instruments) when our voice merged seamlessly with the tune of the instruments and neither were we too loud nor too quiet!
The other instruments also played Mambo No.5 by Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado in 1949 - a very lively tune! All of us completely awed the audience, and the Celebration Evening was phenomenal and we did not only ourselves proud, but Wilson’s School as well.
This year’s spring Celebration Evening from Year 7 was undoubtedly a phenomenal experience. The teamwork shown by all of the pupils resulted in a harmonious and brilliant show for our audience. However, this could not have occurred without all of our teachers’ support and also how well they conducted the performances.
There were also solos throughout the concert and they were amazing; the confidence needed for this was tremendous. At the end of the concert, came one great opportunity for the whole wind band to shine: Mambo No. 5. Soon after this (and another performance which shall be mentioned a bit later) was a performance all of us were really excited about: Babethandaza! This required everyone except a few percussionists (who had other duties) to sing out loud - this went extremely well. At the finale, there came a performance which I believe has a very important message-Don't stop believin’. This time, the singers also came into action and along with all of the other instruments, this produced and amazing finale.
Towards the end, certificates were handed out; congratulations to all who received one but also well done to everyone as this concert was absolutely fabulous. Overall, thanks a lot to all of the teachers involved: we could not have done this without your support! This was really a brilliant showcase to show how all of us had made tremendous improvements since September!
Last night’s Year 7 showcase was really fun as we got to see how all of our friends were progressing on the instruments that were thrust into their hands at the beginning of the academic year. Rehearsals began at 3:30 where we went to the John Jenkins Hall. Mr Lissimore made us prepare by getting into our positions in the orchestra. We, being vocalists, had to sit on the far left.
To begin with, we sang a song called Babethandaza, which we had learnt during some of our many Arts Enrichment sessions with Mr Kramer. The song was split into three parts – the melody, the upper harmony and the lower harmony. Altogether, it sounded really great and was ready to be performed on the night. After that, we went into our individual groups based on our instruments. Our room was C1. Practising was quite calm as we weren’t as nervous when singing. Eventually, we went back to the John Jenkins Hall to practise with the whole wind band the song Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. However, the first time, we were slightly drowned out by the loudness of the brass, but everyone played well and we sung well too. At around 4pm, we were able to go back home and eat before the concert itself.
Soon it was 6.15pm and we were all preparing for the performance in C1. It was quite nerve-wracking as we were about to go on. After one last practise, it was time. Intimidatingly, the audience of parents were all eagerly watching for their son as everyone walked in to the hall. Mr Lissimore welcomed the parents, and the show began. The first group of boys to perform were the percussionists, who led off with a bang and blew the audience away. We were coming up soon and I was sweating. Next to play were the brass instruments, which were extremely loud and also extremely good. Then, it was our turn. Standing up, I could see both my parents and my friends’ parents. I took a big breath and started to sing. Seconds flew by as all the vocalists sang Nests and The Birks of Aberfeldy. Before long, we had finished our pieces. We sat down as the audience gave a cacophonous applause. Soon after the woodwind instruments performed elegantly.
The show finished off with Babethandaza and the whole orchestra performance of Mambo No.5 and Don’t Stop Believin’. Finally, awards for the most improved player of each instrument, highly commended players, outstanding players and special awards. To my surprise, I received the highly commended vocalist, and went home with a proud smile on my face.
Overall, the concert was a great success and I think everyone enjoyed it, and the parents enjoyed seeing how much progress their sons had made. Thank you.
This was an incredible night, and I am sure a night to remember for all students involved.
Among the best performances on the night was most definitely Arlo's (7D) James Bond Theme Tune on the trombone, which was incredible especially as it was a solo, meaning if he made one mistake it wouldn’t have been very good! Yet under all the pressure, he managed to pull through whilst still capturing the minds and hearts of the audience including me.
Furthermore, another great piece was played by Samo (7C) who also played a solo. This was a fabulous piece, on the flute, which had absolutely no flaws whatsoever and was good enough to be a professional performance. It was superb and really should be given some praise. I am just sad that those of you reading this could not have been there to witness the performance live.
In conclusion, this Showcase was one to remember. I also just want to thank everyone involved including the teachers and students.
Nerve-wracking? This word does not do justice to our emotions as the lights swung in our direction. Will it go wrong? What should I do? Will I remember my piece? And then it commenced.
On a typical Wednesday afternoon, we would shuffle to our Arts Enrichment classes. But not today, as we entered the McAlister room for our assembly there was still the lively chatting followed on by Mr Walter’s opening half of the assembly. But the tension when Mr Lissimore entered was palpable.
Mr Lissimore then informed us clearly where each of us would go. Greencoat and Datchelor’s bassoonists were preparing for their Thursday evening performances along with Southwark and Hayes, but the pressure was on Brecon, Camberwell, Datchelor and all the singers.
We all marched on into the John Jenkins Hall. The whole wind and brass band rehearsed Mambo No.5 composed by Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado in 1949. The output was… Well, I was awe-stricken. Speechless.
When the band performed for the audience on the celebration evening, along with Mr Lissimore’s perfect conducting, they blew the audience away. Then it was the turn of the singers. Though when I stood up, along with the others, I felt a newfound will to do my best. And let me just say, that it was our best performance ever
The Spring Showcase 2022 was filled with amazing lighting, eager parents and an atmosphere of great music. From a vocal performance of “Nest” to a classic flute ensemble of “Old Macdonald Had a Farm”, this showcase was filled with every genre of music. The best highlight was the wind band’s performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’” which included Clarinets, Oboes, Trumpets, Trombones, Flutes, French Horns, Percussion and the Singers. The night was packed with diligent players and a whole load of confidence. There was so much effort put into this showcase to make it a night that parents would look back on for years to come. The performers improved a lot from their previous Autumn Showcase a few months ago.
The showcase started with each individual instrument playing their piece/song in an ensemble, with thunderous applause after every performance. There were a few solo performances for the Flute and the Oboe from well-practised musicians. After that came the Singing ensemble directed by Mr Hann. My favourite song from them was “The Birks of Aberfeldy”.
Then there was the wind band’s performance of “Mambo No. 5”, the piece with the most effort put into by the wind band. It was almost flawless despite having complicated musical notation which the performers had to learn. Next was the singing of a song that originated from an African culture with a polyphonic texture – a bass, a melody and a harmony. Everyone sang it with lots of emotion and great vocals. After that was the wind band’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” accompanied by the Singers. The ending was brilliant with a strong note.
Finally was the certificate ceremony. Each instrument was allocated an “Outstanding”, “Most Improved” and “Highly Commended” certificate. Well done to those who won a certificate. There was also certificates for Forms, which were “Special”, “Participation” and “Friendliest”.
This showcase would not be possible without the help of the staff so a massive thanks to all the staff for helping put together this showcase.
This was a night to remember with a prize giving, solos and a fantastic rendition of ‘Don’t stop Believing’! With the lighting thanks to a sixth-form student volunteering for the special evening, everyone who had only picked up their instruments in September (whether metaphorically or physically) had a second chance to show their stuff to their parents.
Following a quick speech from Mr Lissimore, we went straight in with the percussionists. As each group took their turn, the flutes performed ‘Old Macdonald Had a Farm’ and we enjoyed a solo and a duet from them. With other solos with Arlo with the James Bond theme and a trombone quartet, the night was perfect. The singers had their go too with two songs: "Nests" and "Birks of Aberfeldy".
An African spiritual song was next from everyone, taught by a new addition to the music department, Mr Kramer during Arts Enrichment on Wednesdays. With three parts and harmonies, everyone was enjoying themselves; students and adults alike!
The Evening ended with the prize-giving with three certificates on musicality: outstanding, highly commended and most improved. In addition, there were three special awards: friendliness, kindness and participation with one person nominated from each form by their form tutors.
Ending on a very happy note, our sixth-form volunteer kept the fine lighting for a minute longer, allowing adults to finally take some photos to add to the ones that Mrs Straw had been taking behind the scenes.