Following the success of the two Young Performers’ Concerts, the Music Department broadcast two further events on Facebook towards the end of last term, The Cleobury Concert which showcases King’s more senior and advanced musicians and another of our ever-popular Virtual Open Mic Night.
The Virtual Open Mic Night featured sixteen performances and nearly forty pupils. Most songs were recorded at home and edited together by music staff, though the first act was a live recording of a Sixth Form band performing in the John Moore Theatre. The evening continued with a mix of solo songs and duets with backing tracks, as well performers accompanying themselves on piano or guitar. There were a number of debuts from new pupils to the school as well as performances from seasoned veterans of Open Mic Nights. Some staff took up the offer to have their ‘top of the pops’ moment and introduced some of the acts, and there was a surprise guest introduction from OV Chris Tarrant as well! Flute teacher Jenny Argent is to be congratulated for encouraging eighteen flautists at King’s to record their parts for an arrangement of Abba’s Mamma Mia and then editing it all together, which is a challenging and time-consuming task.
The evening finished with a massed virtual performance of Demons sung by five UR boys who had recorded their parts separately at home and three L6 girls who recorded the backing vocals in the theatre. The large number of comments online from pupils, staff, parents and the wider King’s community confirmed how popular successful the evening was. If you missed it live, you can watch the concert here.
The Cleobury Concert was released on facebook in the final week of term. As with all our virtual concerts, it gives us a wonderful window onto the music-making that has been continuing in pupils’ homes this term. Seventeen pupils (plus our flute group again) performed, with two of them contributing multiple performances. A number of pupils performed who haven’t taken part as soloists in concerts over the past year or so, and there was one instrument featured for, I think, the first time ever in a school concert (you’ll have to watch the video to find out what it was). The lack of ensembles and variety of dress reflect the circumstances that we’ve all been faced with this term, but equally so does the progress and development that our instrumentalists and singers have made, with possibly more time for practice at home recently. Their joy at sharing their musicianship with us is evident, and the music department is hugely looking forward to working with them all in person once again, re-building our large and small ensembles, as well as holding concerts like this live, and, ultimately, also with an audience. If you missed it live, you can watch the concert here.