Event Review: House Music 2016
Friday October 7 saw Bede’s Multi-Purpose Hall playing host to the annual House Music Competition, which was this year themed around ‘Famous Places.’
An event that both unifies the entire school in a collaborative effort to reach the pinnacle of their musical potential and which pits Houses against each other in hope of clinching the overall title, House Music is always memorable. This year, however, the event was unforgettable.
The fabled House Music Shield...
As is tradition, the performances are led by the girls’ Houses, with the boys’ Boarding Houses split up by year group and spread amongst them. It was the turn of Bloomsbury, Dicker and part of Camberlot to open the event in 2016, and they did so with a strong performance of this year’s Big Song: Pompeii by Bastille.
Dicker Housemaster Mr Abraham took the reins when it came to the visual side of the performance, dressing himself in a Roman Toga and supplying the entire choir with lava-coloured glow sticks which created an effect which replicated the volcanic eruption of Pompeii.
Following this extraordinary moment was the Small Song, with the Blooms/Dicker/Cambo collective’s stunning rendition of Rule the World by Take That, full of rich harmonies and dynamic variation.
The group’s House Band were up next, with their mashup of American Boy by Estelle and Girl from Ipanema in the style of Amy Winehouse. The group incorporated saxophone, drum and vocal solos into their performance, all of which added to the musicality and vitality of the piece.
Finally, the soloist took to the stage; Daisy Noton, a First Year, who performed a piano-accompanied flute piece of above Grade 8 standard that stunned the entire room to silence.
It truly was a moving and masterful rendition.
Their group put together a vibrant rendition of Pompeii followed by their soloist, Emile Epifanoff, performing his stunningly-fast version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement which saw the entire audience awestruck by Emile’s technical and musical prowess.
The Charleston-led band then played their mashup of Hollywood by Michael Bublé and An Englishman in New York by Sting, choosing to take a very effective, musical theatre approach to the song.
Finally, the Charleston Small Song was Budapest by George Ezra. At the close of these performances, the four Bede’s alumni judges were beginning to realise what a task they had been set in needing to pick winners at the end of the night!
Passing the halfway point of the night, Dorter, Stud and part of Dorms stepped up into the spotlights. Mr Legget, Dorter’s Housemaster, is notoriously competitive when it comes to House Music, and his efforts this year were clear for all to see.
The group performed Pompeii with much enthusiasm, offering possibly the loudest and most enthralling rendition of the song that we heard all night.
Following on from their Big Song performance, the Dorter-led House Band performed an admirable cover of Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA which was greeted with a wave of applause.
To perform the solo, Emily Adams performed her version of New York State of Mind by Billy Joel, putting forward a powerful vocal performance.
Finally, it was the turn of the Small Song, which was America by Razorlight – a song that captured the audience’s imagination, turning thoughts away from the events of the evening towards lyrics which profoundly detailed the troubled nature of “The American Dream.”
Their band first performed Moondance by Van Morrison with excellent musicality and a number of incredibly competent solos from students such as Ollie Hutchinson (Piano) and Charlie Muston (Trumpet), to name just two.
As the band exited the stage, Tilly Holker remained to perform her solo. This was an immensely moving take of Adele’s All I Ask, during which Tilly accompanied herself with the piano.
The Small Song group went on to sing America by Simon and Garfunkel, with many strong individual and group performances.
For the final performance of the night, the Crossways-led collective performed their Big Song, Pompeii, in a very atmospheric fashion. Lights dimmed, the face of each singer lit up by torches, the group sang admirably, capturing the essence of the song extraordinarily well.
At the very end of their performance, the lights flashed and confetti cannons fired, showering the front rows of the audience!
The judges for the evening were four ex-Bedians who now work as professional musicians - or are still in-training.
Jazz vocalist Alice Auer, soprano Georgia-Mae Ellis, jazz pianist Ross Skilbeck and recording artist Tom Salway then had a very tough set of decisions on their hands, so whilst they deliberated the Staff Band took to the stage to entertain the student audience with their cover of Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something.
Mr Johnson gave another stellar vocal performance, much like last year – only this time he encouraged a round of air-guitar performances from all across the audience!
Individual category winners were announced first, with Bloomsbury’s Daisy Noton taking the Solo Category. The Small Song victory went to Dorter, the Band title went to Crossways, and the Big Song victory also went to Dorter.
Headmaster Mr Goodyer making the big announcement.
Then it was time for the announcement of the overall victory, and a roar went up from Crossways. They had claimed the overall House Music title for 2016 with Bloomsbury coming runners-up, with Dorter and Charleston taking the final two spots.
Being from Dicker myself, the House paired with Bloomsbury, and a member of the Blooms House Band, it was of course disappointing not to win the overall title, but the experience was by no means disheartening.
Rather, House Music is an uplifting event where everyone across the school gets involved – one where we all give our best and hope that our individual endeavours will combine with that of others to outshine the work of our ever-outstanding competition.
Next year then, perhaps?