My experience of House Arts

On the 1st February, there was an annual event held at Concord College – House Arts. This year, the theme for the show was ‘embracing changes’. Most members, especially the Sixth Form Prefects, had dedicated much time to the show, which had turned out to be stunningly excellent.

For me, in my first year at Concord, I joined in with one of the four categories, House Song. Our House Prefects worked very hard to put the chosen songs together and designed the movement and choreography for each sentence. It was a long process from 0 to 1. Remembering the lyrics and the tone was the first step. The group gradually got bigger and bigger, and by the third meeting in our preparation, we almost had everyone from our house turn up. At this point, most people were already able to sing without hesitating. The Prefects then added the harmony sung by six people in the group, just as they say, ‘it is not very difficult to get from 1 to 2.’

Although there were only two weeks for the group to practice, every member had been concentrated and inclusive; we cooperated with each other quite well and managed to get through all the difficulties in the practices, such as unmatched movements, singing beats and off-key tone.

During the lengthy time of practice, it was a good chance to interact with new people and learn new skills. Concord’s House Arts is a way of bringing people together and enabling them to become more comprehensive collectively.

Haowen – F4

Preparing for House Arts

The ‘House Arts’ competition is debatably the most important inter-house event of the year. It includes everyone from each of Concord’s four houses and allows students from all year groups to display leadership and teamwork. It has always been a fun, inclusive and exciting experience for students to contribute to their house, and it enables people to make new friends from every part of the world. It also aids students in developing new and existing skills. The ‘house dance’ is a key component of the competition, lead by lower school students.

Being who we are, Gandhi House is extremely well prepared with practices in each of the competitive areas, almost every day in fact. Furthermore, the vast majority of Gandhi take part in at least one of the events (music, dance and narrative). Rehearsals take place after prep and during twilight. If you are ever unsure of practice times, don’t be afraid to ask!

This year’s theme – courage, is one with a number of possibilities, having inspired so many forms of art, and our Prefect team has worked hard to find music, poetry and dance that most fits and relays the theme to others. As well as this, there are exiting and unique props and costumes for each section of the event.

All students at Concord are warmly encouraged to join in with House Arts, and those who are ‘too busy with their schoolwork’ are instead welcomed to come and watch the show and support their peers. House Arts is an excellent opportunity for students to display their talents in music, dance or poetry – or, even the organisational side of things.

Good luck everyone and happy rehearsals!

Sophia (Gandhi House) – F5

House Arts

House Arts is one of the biggest events in the Concord calendar year alongside Sports Day, where students get to know each other more and perform on a stage in front of the whole community. House Arts comes down to four categories: song, dance, ensemble and poem.

This year, the event took place earlier than previous years, on the 27th of January 2018, with a theme of harmony. Because of this, preparations were quite busy. Participants practiced really hard – some houses met up almost every day in twilight/after prep until the performance night.

The show was separated in two halves; one for song and ensemble, one for dance and poem, and each house took turns performing. The night was full of energy, with passionate cheering from each house (especially a lot of “hoo-ha mandela” and “Te-re-sa”). Performances were extremely well executed, all of them deserving the huge applause they received. The results came down to the wire and the judges had a difficult time deciding… Eventually, following last year’s win from Mandela, Pankhurst brought back the cup by winning both song and dance.

House points are valuable and winning matters. However, more importantly, I feel the event really brought the community together. As a participant, new friends were made and already existing friendships were further strengthened from practicing and going through this process together. It was a great experience in which I’m sure all participants are glad they took part – especially if you performed for Pankhurst!

Thibault Lequex – F4

House Arts – A Pankhurst Perspective

The evening of 27th January 2018 marked one of the biggest House Arts performances at Concord. It was a fantastic night with many stunning performances, ranging from upbeat dances to emotional speeches. The amount of enthusiasm coming from both the performers and audience was unbelievable. From the four competition criteria, Teresa won house poem, whilst Gandhi won house ensemble. However, with two wins (house dance and house song), Pankhurst marked their overall victory that night.

Pankhurst’s performances in ‘Song’ and ‘Dance’ were incredible. In the house song, loud and proud voices echoed through the theatre, whilst Pankhurst’s house dance stunned the audience and featured dance tricks.

Pankhurst sang the song ‘From Now On’ by Hugh Jackman, as featured in the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’. Their synchronised moves and timed delays between sopranos and tenors were beautifully performed along with a small, talented harmonising group at the front.

The Pankhurst house dance was energetic – and it remixed a total of 4 songs. The dance was well choreographed and a group of talented dancers collaborated effectively. Hoang’s drop, Chris’ windmill and Mike’s head-spin were just some of the many moves that made it a remarkable performance.

This year’s theme was harmony; it was beautifully portrayed by all houses. Overall, it was a complete success and truly showed the Concordian spirit.

Jessie Xu – F5

House Arts 5 – more dancing!

Taking part in House Arts was a new experience for me for I had never taken part before despite being here for almost 3 years. I decided to represent Gandhi house in the house dance, for I’ve always had a love for dancing and I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet new people. I was the only Lower School boy participating in the dance so I didn’t really know anyone there but the 6th formers helped me feel welcomed. Our dance team decided to dance to a couple of songs each with a different style and I took part in the last song which was OMG by Usher. The night of the dance I didn’t really feel nervous for I gained quite a lot of confidence from the Mayor’s Concert back in the winter term. As soon as I went on stage I was determined to enjoy and I did it was an exhilarating experience and I can’t wait to do it next year.

Sujay Nataraja F5

House Arts 4 – the House poem

A sea of colours applauded us as we walked on stage, setting our nerves at ease almost at once! Hours of preparation, last minute rehearsals and helping each other with desperate therapeutic sessions in  Yacine’s room all suddenly seemed so worth it. It was very scary being one of very few lower school students to take such an active part in the House Arts but was a most rewarding experience and it left us with memories that we will cherish forever.

The poem we recited was written and spoken from our hearts, something that made the performance so much more genuine and mean so much more to both of us.  We were slightly nervous to recite our poem due to the issues it challenged (such as racism and gender inequality) but the support and respect everyone showed us before and after banished all thoughts of nerves. House Arts is such a great way to make friends and try new things and it definitely brought us both closer.  It was the best House Arts ever. (AND OUR HOUSE WON!!!!!!!)

Yacine Sy and Chloe Young F5

House Arts 3 – the House Dance

Hello everyone. My name is Aliona and in this article i will be telling you about Mandela’s dance in the House Arts. I am not a very good writer so don’t be hard on me.

The House Arts is an amazing event which brings everyone together. It is a perfect opportunity to get to know people not only from your form, but from the entire school. The most surprising part of all this competition was how seriously everyone took it.

For our dance we had 4 choreographers, (Sasha, Daniella, Will and me) and we wouldn’t have won without them. I am not a very confident person, plus as it is my first year I don’t really know how everything works, but with the amount of trust and support they gave my I felt like everything was possible. Our performance had to be 5 minutes long and it included 4 dances to 4 different songs. We tried to fit to the topic given to us, which was hope, but most of the dances were already choreographed by the time we knew the theme – so we added some hopeful elements!

Everyday there was a new part to work on, more rehearsals, more people joining. To be honest it was kind of hard, but i wanted to thank everyone who took part in the dance, for how patient they were, for how they were following everything and listening to us and for all of the effort they put into it. This victory is entirely deserved by you!

Aliona Kachna F4

House Arts 2

We had a lot of fun preparing for the 2017 House Arts competition, and I hope that everyone just enjoyed as much as I did! I chose to join House Dance this year, because I wanted to try something new – and it turned out to be a wise choice. Although the practice was rushed and so it was quite stressful to choreograph the dance in a few days, with good team work we separated the task into different groups so that we could focus on our own part and the progress was immediate.

The only thing left was practice! It was really hard to gather up everyone after school or prep as we were all very busy. But, for the event, we all sacrificed our free time to practice. And it was worth it: I just feel so amazed that we all stood on the stage and represented our House; it was such an memorable experience, as we were all fighting for the same aim: to win House Arts.

My favourite part was when we were shouting and cheering for our House, that’s when I felt we are so united, as one. To take first place wasn’t important, well, it did really matter overall because we could have gained a lot of marks for that, but…. yeah, the point of the event was all about having fun and making new friends wasn’t it? That’s why, even though Pankhurst got the last place, we were still quite positive (because we are always the best House!)

Congratulations to Mandela for putting on an amazing show and congratulations to all of the other Houses, as we all did well and I felt so proud of being a member of Concord College.

Britina Wei F5

House Arts 2017

It was only a few days ago on the 4th February did the cheers for each House echoed through the Morris Building with such passion and energy that some would say the roof nearly came off!

Having been told on the 21st of January that this year’s theme was ‘hope’, each house prefects emerged to come up with targets and ideas for each category of House Arts -song, dance,poem and ensemble. For two weeks, prefects raced to book theatre slots, chats on Facebook were full of rehearsal notifications, people rushed off to practices after prep- the Morris Building has never been this crowded before.

Despite the pressure and tension we faced, it was amazing to see the willingness and work people had put into this extraordinary event. Throughout the 2 weeks, we witnessed the sacrifices individuals made; some gave up their trips to town to help others correct their dance moves while others were always ready to encourage and support their fellow house members.

At the end of the night, we agreed it was all worth it- no matter if you came first or fourth. And perhaps what we realised was that with hard work, focus and will power, all is possible.

Earn Prasansapakit F5

House Arts 2015

It was around three weeks into term that people started to receive the dreaded House Arts emails. For the next two hectic weeks, every room in the Morris Building was filled with song, dance, poetry and music – all on this year’s theme of ‘reflection.’

Each act interpreted the theme in a slightly different way, but most focused on internal reflection and the importance of self-confidence. Some performances were more overt about their interpretation of the theme, while others were slightly subtler. Some acts were humorous, others were serious, and some were electrifying – the diversity of acts was huge.

It took hours of planning, choreography and rehearsal to perfect each performance, however, the result of this dedication was clearly visible on stage on Saturday night. Each House pulled off an excellent final performance and each act deserves the biggest congratulations. It was nerve-wracking for everyone involved, and certainly stressful at times, but we can all agree that we pulled through in the end.

However, there were some particular successes. Mandela and Ghandi won the House Song, Mandela won the House Poem, Teresa won the best group while Teresa and Pankhurst won the House Dance. Of course, there was only one winner in the end (Teresa―and for the second time running), but each house showed plenty (and I mean plenty) of spirit which was especially noticeable in their (sometimes successive) chants, which filled the theatre with sound.

When the winner was announced (in between these shouts of house anthems), practically everyone was standing up for one of two reasons: one to celebrate and rush on stage, and the other one to start immediate protest at the obviously biased conclusion. Otherwise gentle and reserved Concord students became something close to football fans for the duration of the night. It certainly was a ‘baptism of fire’ for poor Ms Coward.

That aside… Everybody who was involved deserves to be proud of themselves for making House Arts incredible again this year.

Lucy Hampton F5

House Arts

From emails to flyers and most effectively the bribery of food (where desperate times call for desperate needs) united the four different houses individually to frequent practices about two to three weeks to the House Arts Competition. The House Arts Competition compromises of four categories: ensemble, dance, song, and poetry. The theme this year was: CELEBRATION! Leading up to the night, about a week before the competition, daily practices were called forth to polish up on harmonies, verses and dance moves.
Straight after our Saturday test all houses took turns for a final stage rehearsal in the theatre, to finalise formations on stage making sure for a smooth run during the night. When we weren’t trying to enhance our dance techniques, we were enthusiastically practicing out house song, which I believe will be stuck in my head for next couple of weeks.
The house captains finally decided a few hours before the competition that a break was  in need to save our energy for the real deal. An hour before the competition everyone gathered at their assigned backstage room. Everyone was already dressed up to perform and many were just adding finishing touches to their make up. At one end, you could here a group of people practicing their harmonies and at the other end people dancing while humming the tune of the song they were going to dance to.
At around 7:00pm everyone was called to take their seats in the theatre. From the very beginning, the crowd was already fully excitement and enthusiasm. The House Arts Competition kicked off with the house ensemble, which followed with the house dance. As a supportive Teresa member, I represented my house and participated in the house dance. Unfortunately, I was unable to see the other house dances, as I had to leave the theatre to prepare for the Teresa dance performance. Many of us who were waiting backstage were rather anxious yet excited at the same time to go on stage to perform after Mr Wilson’s opening speech. We all danced the dance for the last time on stage the best as we could. The feeling coming of stage was satisfying as we knew that we had fun and really enjoyed ourselves
The next event was the house poetry, which was very engaging. Finally, the last event was the house song whereby almost every member of each house had participated in. Teresa’s house song idea was the celebration of time. Therefore, we sang many retro songs from the 1950’s and 1970’s. In between our house song, we did some sort of a chant which was to show our unity as a house but at the same time could have successfully intimidated others.  Our house song ended with the song ‘Celebration’. At the end of the performance, all of us felt really proud of ourselves as we knew that we left every ounce of house spirit on the stage.
As the competition came to an end, the amazing performances had left the judges with a rather difficult decision of picking the winners. Despite that, in each category there was one house that had that little edge. The winners for the house ensemble and dance was TERESA! And the winners for the house poetry and song was Mandela! However, the overall winners for the House Arts Competition of 2014 is TERESAAAAAAAA! We were all over-joyed and couldn’t be happier. We also, realised how all the hard work and dedication had paid off.
Chloe Ho F5