The second half of November is always a busy time for the music department at KSA. Traditionally, we hold the first main school concert of the year in College Hall at this time. This is a very special occasion, where our choirs, ensembles and brave Year 6 soloists take to the stage to entertain a packed house, playing the pieces they have been learning throughout the term.
COVID restrictions and the importance of keeping everyone safe have had to take priority however, and for the first time in many years we were unable to hold the concert in the usual way.
The children have still been able to enjoy a great deal of live music making this term, with ensembles, choirs and individual music lessons continuing weekly, albeit in an adjusted form. They were very keen to show the fruits of their hard work so, undeterred, we hatched an alternative plan.
On Thursday 19th and Friday 20th November, our beautiful chapel was temporarily transformed into a recording studio, with each group arriving in turn to record the music they had prepared. This was a new experience for pupils and teachers alike, and not without its technical challenges. Our three choirs, for example, have been working in year group bubbles on pieces that would eventually be ’performed’ with another bubble. This meant that they needed to sing accurately with a backing track so that the recordings could be mixed down into one track later on. They also had to rise to the challenge of performing to a microphone as though it were a live audience – no mean feat at 9am on a wet Friday morning! All the children really did themselves proud, accepting the unusual circumstances without fuss and singing and playing their hearts out even though there was no rapturous applause at the end to rewards their efforts. They all worked incredibly hard and their enthusiasm made them a pleasure to work with.
Families from KSA have now received a recording of the performances. As you can hear, music is very much alive and thriving at KSA in 2020!