BARNSLEY ACADEMY STUDENTS GO WASSAILING!
~Students perform specially commissioned piece~
Last night (28th November) saw Barnsley Academy students perform with hundreds of their peers from across the country in a special concert at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music.
The students travelled to Manchester to sing in one of the first ever performances of Wassail! Carols of Comforts and Joy – a brand new musical score, composed by renowned composer Alexander L’Estrange.
The performance was organised by United Learning – a national group of schools, which includes Barnsley Academy. United Learning’s Partnership Fund, which seeks to enhance the opportunities available to students, commissioned the piece as a way of opening up the world of choral singing to pupils across the group. The piece itself draws on folk traditions with a modern twist, influenced by both jazz and modern choral music.
The performance was the result of months of intensive rehearsals, with Barnsley Academy students learning and rehearsing the piece since the beginning of term, though only joining with the other schools on the day of the performance. In preparation, students had participated in singing and performance workshops led by the VCM scholars and performers from acclaimed choral ensemble, Apollo 5.
During the performance, Barnsley students also accompanied three songs with original dances, which they had choreographed themselves.
Anneka Read, Performing Arts co-ordinator at Barnsley Academy, said:
“This was another fantastic opportunity for our students provided by the Partnership Fund! Working alongside professionals and students from other schools across the group has been an invaluable experience. Our students continue to make us proud of their continuous commitment and drive to achieve their very best.”
Barnsley Academy student Kate Gerdena said:
“I feel so much more confident from being able to take part in performance projects like this. It’s opened up more performance opportunities for me and I have met some amazing people.”
Fellow academy student Amelie Perry said:
“Thank you to United Learning for giving us this opportunity. I love being a part of team BA and showing off the amazing performance work that we do. I can’t wait for the next project!”
Catherine Barker, Head of Music and Performing Arts at United Learning, said:
“Last night’s performance was absolutely spectacular. The sound of hundreds of students from across the country singing together has been truly moving and I am thrilled that the students received such a resounding round of applause from the audience.
“Not only has this project introduced our students to a vast array of different types of music, it has given them the chance to collaborate with their peers from across the country. These performances showed that music can unite us all – wherever we live and whatever our background. It has been incredibly poignant to see our choirs comprising students from a diverse range of cultures and I hope that Wassail! will continue to bring such enjoyment to all schools throughout the country.”
The Wassail! project has recently been shortlisted in the Best Classical Music Education Initiative category at the Music Teachers Awards 2018, sponsored by Classic FM. The winner will be chosen by a public vote on www.classicfm.com.
For further information, please contact Nigel Barber on 07590 806 143.