This year each class was given a different Christmas Carol and the pupils created some poetry and readings inspired by the different themes. The performances on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December featured many of these readings with some extra additional poetry. Each class performed in The Shed resplendent in Mrs Mace’s costumes, ending their pieces with a rousing rendition of their own class Carol, sung by all parents, staff and pupils.
The Concert began with a performance of John Rutter’s challenging Star Carol. Max Hichen’s (Year 4, Gwyn) poignant solo contrasted well with the more upbeat verses sung by each year group in turn. 6ZH then came swirling on as Snowflakes, to a beautiful accompaniment on Piano and Cello, Benjamin Shaw (Year 6, Symonds) and Isabelle Carnell (Year 6, Gwyn) and after several wintry poems, finished with a most dramatic presentation of Laurie Lee’s Christmas Landscape, complete with vocal soundscape.
4MM gave a fantastic performance of their own Star readings, accompanied by John Tavener’s eerie music. They also transported us to Christmas in the Caribbean with the sounds of reggae and finally, the upbeat Calypso Carol, complete with Steel Pan, which had everyone’s feet tapping.
For their second piece, the Junior Chamber Choir performed Carol of The Bells in three-part harmony. It was a short piece, yet incredibly complex and very festive.
This set the scene nicely for 5BG, with their theme of Christmas Bells. In addition to poetry, pupils held a hand bell to create a scale of notes, which they used most effectively, particularly in their own Carol, Ding Dong Merrily on High.
6ND delivered an amusing poem Christmas Thank Yous complete with a multitude of unwanted (yet gratefully received) gifts, and they concluded their performance with the more serious poem, The Gift. Every class member spoke their lines with clarity and precision.
Dressed as an assortment of animals, 3JD charmingly transported the audience to the stable with their performance. It was the first time that any of the pupils had performed in The Shed and they all spoke clearly and confidently. The lovely readings were followed by an endearing performance of It was on a Starry Night, with some splendid percussion, this time by Year 3.
The final Carol from the Chamber Choir, Love Shone Down with its descriptive words was beautifully sung, with Jonathan Peach (Year 5, Symonds) displaying his vocal talent during his solo verse.
The back projection was used wonderfully throughout the Concert, but seemed particularly effective during 5HL’s piece on Angels. Accompanied by Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, individual readings were superbly delivered, and the whole class worked very well together with movement and gesture and all looked resplendent in their angel costumes. 5HL must also be commended for singing the challenging descant during Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
6MO concluded the evening with some clever Haikus and poetry about the Three Kings. After an excellent performance of King’s Evidence they led the final class Carol We Three Kings with solo verses from Chisengo Lukama (Year 6, Gwyn), Rory Morrison (Year 6, Gwyn) and Barty Gray (Year 6, Symonds). The evening was suitably concluded with a rousing rendition of O Come all Ye Faithful including pupils, staff and audience alike.