Concert Preview

Please come along to the Stoneygate School Summer Sequence on Thursday 12 June at 5pm in the Hall. This concert will feature the Senior Choir, Orchestra and Soloists. Of particular mention should be the Senior Choir’s rendition of Pharrell Williams’ Happy and the Orchestra’s performance of the Beatles’ classic Yesterday. We will also be singing works by Mozart, Britten and performing folk songs. The Orchestra has prepared John Williams’ Movie Adventures and the hit song Handbags and Gladrags. There will also be a guest appearance from Mr Ed Barker, performing with Mr Ashwin. More details will be available after half-term, this is just a save-the-date kind of reminder.

Mrs Ashwin

Angelic Voices at Kibworth’s Angel Fayre

On Saturday 23 November, our Junior Choir (Year 3 and 4) made a special effort to come to St Wilfred’s Church in Kibworth and sing at the Angel Fayre. The energy and enthusiasm from all our singers was excellent throughout songs in different styles. We sang two autumnal songs, two American songs in parts, a quirky song about choosing the right shoes and finished with a preview of one of the songs that we will sing in our Carol Service. We were very happy to adopt Charlotte from Yr 7 and Caitlin from Yr 6 into our team and they both sang wonderful solos.

Kibworth photo

There was marvellous support from parents, siblings and friends at the fayre and there was a really buzzing atmosphere around. Our singers did very well to sing over a reasonable amount of chatter at the back of the church, but they maintained their focus and sang with the great attitude of ‘the show must go on’!

Huge thanks to all the Year 3 and 4 children who came and sang and their families for getting them there.

‘Friday Afternoons’ at Uppingham – Happy Birthday to Benjamin Britten

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStoneygate School Senior Choir spent an excellent day at Uppingham School on Friday 22 November to celebrate 100 years since Benjamin Britten’s birth. We joined Witham Hall and Heath Mount Schools to sing a set of pieces composed by Benjamin Britten called Friday Afternoons.

It was an excellent day, lead by Mr Parker, Head of Singing at Uppingham School and we worked very hard on the Britten songs. After lunch we had an opportunity to rehearse our own piece in the School Chapel and that went very well. The final rehearsal was a full run through of the Britten songs and it was a hard sing – demanding concentration, physical endurance and a high level of musicality. After a break for squash and biscuits we entered the chapel to see a fantastic number of Stoneygate parents, grandparents and siblings who had come to enjoy the concert.

The concert started with Witham Hall’s choir singing Goodall’s The Lord is my Shepherd, then Heath Mount sang Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. They both demonstrated a high level of skill and great stage presence. Stoneygate School Senior Choir then took to the stage to sing L’Estrange’s arrangement of Go Down, Moses and O Happy Day. I was delighted with the contrasts that we achieved, the confidence of our small group singers, the ensemble skills and the way that all the tricky bits, of starting and stopping clapping in the right places, all worked!

The next two items were sung by Uppingham School Chamber Choir. It was a real treat to hear this wonderful demonstration of beautiful singing. I could see how impressed our pupils were from the way that reacted at the end. Their performance of Stanford’s Beati Quorum Via was subtle and delicate and the arrangement of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was sumptuously rich and expressive.

Then came the reason for being there: Benjamin Britten’s Friday Afternoons. We were not just part of a fantastic concert at Uppingham School, but part of a world-wide event whereby over 100,000 children sang this piece all over the world on the same day. Mr Parker guided us through the piece with guts and passion and there was a real sense of achievement in singing the 12 songs so well. It is a tricky set of songs with many obscure words, difficult and unpredictable melodies, pauses and changes in time signatures etc, but this all made the achievement all the more special.

I was very proud of the team that we took – 55 pupils who all represented the school well. Thanks to Mr Ashwin for accompanying our own piece on the piano with such jazzy style and Mr Hudson for driving and helping everything to run smoothly.

Mrs Ashwin