Wonderful Vocal Concert

Congratulations to all who sang in the Vocal Concert on Thursday 15 October. There was a lovely variety of pieces performed, but very little variety in the high quality of the singing. It was particularly lovely to hear how well the children have progressed from the concert last year. Their tone is strengthening, diction improving, communication developing and the enjoyment is still very much there. It would be wrong to pick out certain performers, as they all did such a wonderful job. The warm applause from the audience for all performers, whether they had their own family members there or not, said a lot for the quality of the singing and the generosity of singers and audience.

The group finale, I Can See Clearly Now, was very special as it showed all the children singing together and it is quite unique to have such a spread of ages singing in harmony. Each verse was sung by a different sub-group and we heard their different vocal qualities. It was very beautiful and a super way to end the concert.

Mr Ashwin was at the piano for the entire concert, supporting all the children. Thank you to him for his hard work in preparing the children for this concert, which takes place so early in the academic year.

Well done to:

  • Year 8: Pippa N, Gracie F, Clemmie P, Freya A
  • Year 6: Hattie T, Declan M, Will Mc, Max W
  • Year 5: Ivana P, Tasia D, Millie P, Evie S
  • Year 4: Bradley M
  • Year 3: Karan J, Lola G, Sebby J, Jacob M, Izzy H, Leo P
  • Year 1: Rosie A

Mrs Ashwin

Kettering and District Eisteddfod Success

As many of you will have read, Friday 21 March was a great day for singing at the Kettering and District Eisteddfod. Our Year 2 class performed beautifully and received some lovely comments. I was particularly thrilled with the complements on our diction and articulation. Winning 1st prize in the hymn singing was especially pleasing as the set song, Morning has Broken, was not at all easy and our own choice, If I were a butterfly, needed to be sung with huge energy and a big smile. Year 2 also behaved superbly and all the parents there were rightly extremely proud!

A good number of Stoneygate singers performed solos later in the afternoon and evening. They had to sing in a large hall and really communicate their songs. All did very well and gained valuable performance experience from participating.

Well done to Emma D, Ivana P, Jessica S, Annabelle L, Gracie F, Caitlin M and Josephine C. They won various trophies and placings between them and all were commended for their performances.

Josephine C scooped three first prizes and the title of ‘Most Promising Vocal Performer Under 21’. This is a huge accolade and earned her the chance to sing for the Lord Mayor.

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Huge thanks to all for their support of the Kettering and District Eistedffod.

Mrs Ashwin

A Singing Workout

Singing is an amazing activity, but it requires lots of energy. Many of the best singers make it look as if it’s the easiest thing in the world, but in fact they are working hard underneath and recruiting lots of muscles to help with their breathing and ‘support’ systems.

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Harry on the Swiss ball

I have some new equipment in my teaching room, including a Swiss ball and a resistance band. The ball is a great way to help pupils improve their posture for singing, and using the resistance band helps them recruit some of the strong torso muscles needed for high-intensity singing.

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Hattie about to pull on the resistance band

A great way to think of this whole-body system is to imagine writing your name whilst holding your hand in mid-air and using only the finger muscles that are holding the pen to actually write on the paper. What happens when you write like this? The letters will probably be uneven and scrawled all over the page. But when you support your fingers with your hand, wrist, arm, and other hand, you can write your name with more control. The same is true for singing; the bigger, stronger muscles of the neck and torso take the pressure off the small muscles in the throat, and singing feels supported and even effortless.

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Harry standing tall and engaging his back muscles

Healthy singing uses the whole body, and I hope the kids enjoy this extra feeling of ‘oomph’ as they sing!

Mr Ashwin