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Posted: 20.10.16

House Music Thrills At Christ College


The weekend’s musical extraveganza got off to an impressive start with the House Instrumental competition on Friday evening.

Each house enters three instrumental soloist and is required to produce an ensemble performance, which must involve at least three performers and three independent parts. The marks from each of the houses three solo perfromances are added to the marks for the ensemble performance.

Soloists from Alway House were Peris, Joseff and Sophie with School House supplying Nicky, Artai and Endy. From the girls’ houses, De Winton performers were Megan, Lucy and Rebecca and Cerys, Lydia and Zoe represented Donaldson’s House.

For Orchard, Leo, Iory and Peter were on fine form and St David’s had Harrison, Gordon and Tomos.

The ensemble section was an opportunity for each house to show their strength and depth of musical talent and did not disappoint. Donaldson’s performed David of the White Rock (Welsh Trad.), the Orchard offering was Thunderstruck by AC/DC, School House performed Canon (Pachelbel), De Winton took on Clean Bandit’s Rather Be and Alway House entertained with Little Brown Jug (Trad. Arr. Cathrine).

The adjudicator for the evening was Russel Burton. A freelance musician based in Cheltenham, he is currently the Director of Music at St Philip and St James Church. Having spent his early career teaching in independent schools he moved to Gloucester in 2002 to be the chorister singing techer and tenor lay clerk. He now teaches advanced singers and pianists at Pate’s Grammar School.

After some valuable feedback, Mr Burton awarded each house their points with De Winton and School House coming joint first. He congratulated all who took part on their skill and attention to detail and the high standard of competition.

Sunday evening saw the much anticpated House Singing competition take place in front of a packed audience in the Sports Hall. House Singing is an acoustic competition with no amplification permitted. There are two categories – a Unison Song and Part Song – and each House must perform in each category. The Part Song needs to have at least three performers and three independent parts. The Unison Song involves every member of the House and must be in unison throughout. Marks for the two performances are added together with the highest scoring house being the winner. This is then added to the score of the Instrumentalist competition to crown the overall winner of House Music.

Performances throughout the evening were delivered with passion and finesse. The Part Songs were Bannau: I Say a Little Prayer (Bacharach/David); School: I Get Around (Wilson/Love); Orchard: Aura Lee (American Trad.); Alway: Adio Mama (Spanish Trad); St David’s: Somebody that I used to know (De Backer); De Winton: The Last Rose of summer (Irish Trad.); Donaldson’s: Hide and Seek (Heap). The Unison Songs were Bannau: A Thousand Years (Peri); Orchard: Do You Hear the People Sing? (Schonberg/Boublil); De Winton: Dream Catch Me (Faulkner); St David’s: Everlong (Grohl); Donaldson’s: Unwritten (Brisebois/Rodrigues/Bedingfield); School: Smells like Teen Spirit (Scala/Kolacny); Alway: Let it go (Barry/Bay).

The adjudicator for the evening was Mr Andrew Cleary, the current Director of Music at Christ’s Hospital.Before arriving at Christ’s Hospital, he worked as Organist and Music teacher at Pangbourne College and Oundle School and subsequently held posts as Director of Music at Dean Close School and The Portsmouth Grammar School. In 2003 Andrew founded and became Musical Director of the Portsmouth Cathedral Girls’ Choir. Andrew conducted Katherine Jenkins and Brynn Terfel as part of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Festival Hall in 2005 and the Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir at the Drumhead Ceremony to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on Southsea Common 2005. In addition, he has arranged music for events at HM Dockyard in Portsmouth and has conducted ceremonial services and concerts at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Festival Hall.

With members of the audience already having made their choices as to whose performances were their favourites it was up to Mr Cleary to give his feedback to the Houses and audience. After a tense wait, St David’s House won the Part Song, Donaldson’s House won the Unison Song and Donaldson’s House were crowned overall House Music winners! Celebrations went on well into the night in a very bubbly Donadson’s House. Mr Cleary passed on his congratulations to all who took part – the standard of singing at Christ College continues to thrive and bring together the whole school community for top class events such as this.

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