House Music Competition
What a fabulous House Music “Festival” Competition we had on Tuesday! This event has evolved over the years and this one (my last ever) was definitely the best!
I say “Festival” – in all honesty it is a House competition, distinctive in that every single member of the House performs together – pupils, staff and gappers. Whilst obviously enjoyment of music and team work are key, there was a healthy edge of fighting spirit in the performances – and that was just amongst the staff!! This was Elstree at its best- as one staff member commented, it had just the perfect mix of “talent, fun, teamwork and great sportsmanship”. The buzz created was something like I have never witnessed before.
Alex Tester, Director of Music at St Edward’s was our visiting adjudicator and explained clearly at the start what he was looking for: well-drilled performances where everyone was engaged, and of course answering positively to the question- “Am I enjoying this?”
Preparations for the morning go back to the end of the previous term. House soloists are identified, band leaders appointed and House songs (this year on the theme of royalty) chosen and the words sent home with the pupils to learn.
Then practicing in earnest takes place at the start of the summer term. Anyone visiting Elstree early on a Wednesday morning would find every corner of the school alive with the sound of music!
What did the Competition consist of?
The first round was the soloists: 3 pianists and a violinist competed for the cup and James is to be commended for his beautiful performance, which Mr Tester said truly took us on that all important musical journey.
The second round was the ensembles and what a varied mix we had -a sea shanty, some Cold Play, Ed Sheeran and – the winner – Imagine Dragon’s “Enemy” from East House, complete with a most impressively delivered rap from our head boy. I can’t wait for his Sports Day speech! It was great to see not only a wide range of styles and instruments but some pupils singing who we have not heard before. Everything was delivered with confidence to the “tough crowd” as Kitty called them!
And so finally to the whole House songs, this year complete with props, banners, masks, coloured shirts, facial decorations, an all-enveloping lion headdress, shades and choreography! We really got into the spirit, and congratulations to West for winning with a song from the Lion King.
Mr Tester kept us waiting until the very end for the results and South were declared the overall champions (How apt that “We are the Champions” was their chosen House song!).
Although our speaker towers may not be have been as high as Glastonbury or Reading’s, or our quota of fans not been in the high thousands, we raised Elstree’s roof, had immense fun and proved the enduring power of music to bind and heal.