It is safe to say that, despite the vast array of house competitions scattered throughout the year, House Music is always a highlight.
Perhaps I'm biased. It is undeniable to say that some houses have always had a certain knack with this competition.
As ever, and in broad terms, the contest was fierce. Five epic renditions of various ‘80s pop songs were the centre point of the day. And to talk of proceedings, the competition this year was staggered throughout the school timetable to ensure greater social distancing. The whole occasion proved the immense vivacity and enthusiasm of musicians, teachers, house staff and technical crew. Whether it was Studights classy harmonies, or Blicker’s multi-faceted offering, all houses had something unique and personal about their performance. Every singer who took part in the small choir song (a maximum of 20 singers allowable) were truly exemplifying what it meant to be a part of a house community. The atmosphere in all the musical items was truly energising, and every student's effort was unequivocally infectious. It was certainly quite an experience to both be on stage and a member of the audience!
Blicker’s small song (‘I’m Still Standing’) was the first of its kind to grace the day. One might expect nerves - but they certainly did not show. A ‘80s classic, it did not disappoint, aided by Fearghus Beauchamp’s wonderful harmonisations and musical wizardry. Put simply: can you ever go wrong with a bit of Elton John? For their solo, we were lucky to witness Rosie Maitland-Shadwell singing ‘Always remember us’. An emerging vocal superpower, Rosie’s singing impressed us all with its passion and skill. Blicker’s band also excelled with their song ‘Umbrella’, where Sophia Titterton-Manos came to the fore fronting the band.
Next up: Chorms. Their small choir exhibited a tour-de-force performance of the classic Abba song ‘Lay all your love on me’ organised and orchestrated by the incredible Mr Mpandawana and Mr Hickman and their teams. The arrangement simply took our breath away; the harmonies reflected the soft and mellow intentions behind the music; truly put the icing on the cake. For their solo, Charleston’s Veronica Travers transported us with her magical and atmospheric performance. The performance was deeply heartfelt and emotive, in simpler terms: what a performer and what a performance! Chorms’s band was also executed with extreme professionalism under the expert guidance of Grace Watkins and again, Veronica Travers.
Moving swiftly on to Camberways. The small song was Annie Lennox’s iconic ‘80s number, Sweet Dreams, which was given an electric rendition. Davina Ifie-Sakibo was the amazing vocalist, whose performance left us all on the edge of our seats: the maturity and vocal power she gave was very memorable. There are simply no other words for it, spectacular; her power and style was effervescent. Another strong entry from the band was also performed by Camberways, led by the superb Gladys Chan and Will Quibell.
Studights were next. The song Uptown Girl, was originally performed by the American singer Billy Joel, and Studights simply gave it a new lease of life. Remarkable solos came from Seb Robinson and Oliver Charman who both electrified and enthused the performance with the gusto it needed. The house soloist, Joshua Slater, was exceptional. It is fair to say the Bede's keyboard community is very strong indeed; Joshua gave a show-stopping performance of the Revolutionary Study, by Frederich Chopin. His playing was both elegant and refreshing; which struck a different tone from the raucous energy of the day. The judges certainly had their work cut out!
Dorteis were last, but by no means least, and started with Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ for their small song. The band number, possibly one of the most superb performances of the day, was ‘Love Shack’ by the B52s. I think you'd agree that talent is an understatement, especially taking into consideration their soloist too, who was Maya Goswami, also the winning soloist item.
All in all, the winners were Studights, closely followed by Dorteis who won both the small song and the band. Special thanks must go to Mr Hopkins, Mr Aburn and Mr Prescott and the peripatetic music staff, as well as all the Housemasters and Housemistresses involved. Without their effort and motivation, competitions like this wouldn't happen.
Roll on House Music 2022 - all being well, fully back to normal!