Event Review: House Music 2015

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One of the major highlights of the Bede’s calendar, the house music competition is one of those events that everyone looks forward to.

It brings the whole school together, as year on year the very best of Bede’s musical talent is put on show to fight it out to prove their superiority. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also hugely rewarding.

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As many people will know, the house music competition comprises four categories – a whole-house ‘Big Song,’ a ‘Small Song’ performed by an elite choir, a solo piece and a band piece – which combine to give the final result at the end of the evening.

Conscious that this would be my last House Music competition, I went into it with the attitude that I’d get out what I put in. Thus, I not only took part in the Big Song, but also joined the Small Choir and Band. In the process, I came to see how much effort had been made in the past by these groups in previous competitions – between the various rehearsals, I doubt I had a single spare break, lunch or evening for the two weeks leading up to the competition.

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My own house, Dicker, had been combined with Charleston House – who were leading the team – and half of Knights House, and it was admirable to see all three Houses pulling together to make the performance as good as it could be.

Come the night, the Charleston team were performing first. Energy was high as we launched into the opening number, a piece which tied all the concerts together and was chosen with the theme of the music of Elton John in mind: ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ from the Lion King.

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With this song completed, we launched into the less energetic but more powerful ‘Electricity’ from Billy Elliot, performed by the Small Choir, a piece distinctive for its broad use of solo performers with a wide vocal range and level of experience.

This was followed by Archie Taylor performing as a soloist, though he was forced to postpone his performance due to technical issues with the backing track for his self-composed piano piece – an issue that he handled with admirable calmness.

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The band took to the stage with a cover of Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be,’ before we relinquished to the team led by Dorter and comprising Camberlot and part of Dorms.

Dorter’s Big Song was colourful and vibrant thanks to the costuming, and accompanied by a performance from the house’s large contingent of Legat dancers. This was followed by their small choir’s performance of ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,’ and then by Lower Fifth Oliver Hutchinson who performed as his solo piece on the piano Erroll Garner’s ‘Misty,’ to great acclaim.

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Finally, the band took to the stage to perform a moonlight-themed mash-up of songs, combining ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by King Harvest and ‘Blame it on the Boogie’ by the Jackson Five, a performance that again used the house’s skilled dancers and breadth of musical talent to include many different instruments.

Next came the team Crossways, Stud and the other part of Dorms, whose Big Song performance was by far the most vibrant of the night, including a reenactment of the iconic first scene of the Lion King with Seb Elliot as Rafiki!

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Their Small Song performance, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, was a dazzling musical display, while their soloist Julia Mayer performed Paul Taffanel’s ‘Andante Pastorale’ on the flute, accompanied by Mr Scamardella on piano. Their band rounded out the concert with a cover of ‘No Diggity’ which left us all excited for more.

Finally, the team of Bloomsbury, Deis and the remainder of Knights took to the stage.

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Their Big Song performance was as inspiring as the rest, but it was their other performances in which they really shone. Their Small Choir – which ultimately won the category – performed Elton John’s ‘Your Song,’ while their soloist Rosa Witts performed an interpretation of ‘Waves,’ for which she used a kick pedal to perform her piece using looped recordings of herself. Thus, she was able to perform using her voice and four separate instruments, an unequalled feat that saw her easily win the category!

Likewise, their band won out with a mash-up of ‘Hit the Road Jack’ by Ray Charles and ‘I’m Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone.

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Having won three of the four categories, Bloomsbury strode to an easy victory. Although Crossways won the Big Song they ultimately placed fourth, behind Dorter in third and Charleston in second.

Despite the pain of having lost, everyone enjoyed the evening – especially when it was rounded out by the staff band, led by the talented vocals of the new Director of Hockey Mr Johnson!

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It, like a lot of Bede’s events, was one where the participants got out what they put in – and I was certainly glad to have put in so much!

 

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