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News Feature: Christmas Musical Extravaganza!

By Kevin

The spirit of music was alive and well in Bolingbroke this Christmas! The Music Department has been remarkably busy planning events such as the Concert by Candlelight and the carols sung at Clapham Junction station.

On Tuesday, 7th December, The Christmas by Candlelight concert happened, where many students with a high musical capability performed multiple songs for a crowd of proud parents and teachers. Joyfully, this event was able to take place live instead of online streaming like last year. It provided glee and joy for Christmas at Bolingbroke.

The first song was 'Once in Royal David's City', where Tom in Year 7 and Luca in Year 8 performed solos alongside the Senior Band. Both Tom and Luca had impressive vocal ranges and gave the audience a warm welcome to the concert. Ms Breckon praised both students' amazing performances telling us that she was, "Immensely proud of Tom and Luca for opening the concert with such a beautiful first verse of 'Once in Royal David’s City' from the pulpit."

After that, Senior Band played both 'Gonna Fly Now in Rocky' and 'A Christmas Festival'. The song Gonna Fly Now was nostalgic, especially to those who are older in terms of generations. Noah in Year 11, the trombonist in the band, said, " I liked the medley aspect of a Christmas Festival." Wise words, Noah!

Continuing the concert, Yr 9 Rock School played 'Irreplaceable' by Beyoncé. The band consists of Finn, Eleanor, Keyra, Seona, Rafe, Electra and myself. I had fun during the concert whilst performing, although I could not hear the singers at all as the amps were so loud! The leader of Rock School, Mr King, said, "It was so great to get the whole room clapping along to some music again!" Luckily, we were able to spark his interest!

The Year 7 and 8 choir performed 'Happy Xmas/War is Over' by John Lennon. Year 8 student, Dolly, shared her feelings about the performance: "I felt overjoyed when performing happy Christmas/war is over because I love the song. I was singing with an amazing group of people who I knew would not judge me if I made a mistake and would support me through what was a joyful evening."

The Junior Band played Tchaikovsky's 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy', which was played nicely along to the Christmas theme. Ms Riley explained how the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy fits in with the Christmas theme, telling us that, "My song choice for Junior Band was made because they were both from the ballet 'The Nutcracker' which is set around Christmas time in Europe.".

After Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Sixth Former musicians played 'On the Sunny Side of the Streets' by Jimmy McHugh. It was quite a blast. We reached out to Cicely, who was a Year 9 students in the audience. She has told us about her thoughts on the song, saying that, "I liked the soloists and how they sung excellently."

After a blast of Christmas music, the whole audience stood up to sing the carol 'O Come all Ye Faithful'. Amelie, in Year 9, told us, "Because it was sung in unison, it really reminded me how much community matters."

By the notorious Scholars and Apprentices, they sung Coventry Carol, which was one of many favourites within the audience and the teachers. The Scholars and Apprentices circled the audience with candles in their hands. They all sung in harmony and radiated pride and joy to the whole church. Mrs Riley, Music Teacher, has told us her about thoughts on the song and said, "I enjoyed 'Coventry Carol' because of the pupils holding candles circling the audience". This technique was indeed, "very effective". Then, they sung Ding Dong Merrily On High, a Christmas classic.

From the Year 10 Rock School, they played Ghost Town by The Specials and impressed multiple teachers by their impressive falsettos. Mr King, a guitar teacher, was particularly impressed telling us that, "Jake Liapiz, Jake Ijaz and Dante Stacpoole who all delivered some fantastic falsetto vocals for Ghost Town! Well done boys! " Mr Matthews, said that, "I was a big fan of Ghost Town. I thought the band did a very good job of playing a personal favourite tune of mine."

Another special moment of this concert was the song 'Feliz Navidad' that was performed by the staff. Mr Griffin played the guitar and Mr Matthews played the drums. Mr Matthews told us that, "I really enjoyed it, especially playing alongside the other teachers. It has inspired me to try and play more often." Mr Thomas, who danced wonderfully well along with the music, told us that, "It was nerve wracking but we all believe in community and courage as part of our values and we wanted to show that everyone was working together and taking opportunities. We wouldn’t ask pupils to do something we wouldn’t do so it was so much fun to see every member of staff give it their all. I am sure it gave everyone a few laughs too which is nice!"

The Christmas by Candlelight was a roaring success. Ms Breckon, the head of Music, said, "At our collection at the end of the concert, along with our Music Friends Donations page, we managed to raise a whopping £700 to go towards the Music department! Thank you so much to everyone who donated: this means we can continue to put on amazing events like the Concert by Candlelight and provide incredible resources and performance opportunities for all Bolingbroke pupils. Watch this space for the next concert!"

Other than the Christmas by Candlelight, there was also an event where the Scholars and Apprentices sung Christmas carols to raise money for Age UK, a charity supporting the elderly community. It took place on Wednesday 8th December in Clapham Junction Station. They sung many songs such as 'Ding Dong Merrily on High' and 'Coventry Carol'; the choir also sang 'Silent Night', 'Away in a Manger', 'Deck the Halls' and 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'. Ms Breckon told us, "In just 40 minutes of singing we raised almost £100 for Age UK. A huge congratulations to everyone who took part and supported the event!"

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