Open Mic Concert 22/10/19

Just after the Talent Show last Thursday, I had another singing performance with Kenneth, Jason and Jack. In order to share music to the school and help with Jason’s BTEC work, we sang ‘Hey Jude’, a well-known song by the Beatles in front of teachers and classmates. As the Open-mic performance is at lunchtime, all four of us did not have enough time for a regular lunch. We were both hungry and nervous, waiting for our act patiently and anxiously. We did a fantastic job because we were well-prepared, that we had at least four to five practices before the show. We all enjoyed the time very much, and we would love to continue playing great songs together.

Hugo – F5

What a performance that was! The Open Mic was my first ever experience of singing in front of an audience, excluding my times in the choir. It was amazing though, I will never forget the butterflies I had in my stomach before we were called and went up in front the staff and students, to play the Beetles’ classic “Hey Jude”. We spent a week practicing before the performance, after preps, weekends, all to get the best out of our band. I would say the performance was not perfect, but it was good enough to receive a big round of applause from the crowd of 30 that afternoon. Performing and singing is most definitely becoming a hobby now, but I will probably avoid choosing such a hard and technical song next time – “Hey Jude” was good but hard! But, all in all, I really enjoyed it and recommend to anyone who likes music to come and enjoy the next Open Mic Concert next half term!

Kenneth – F5

Before the ‘Forever Friends’ Concert

On 15th March 2018 the Form 4 BTEC Music group will be hosting a charity concert in support of the inspirational charity Blue Cross. This charity helps both people and animals alike, providing home and healthcare for injured and abandoned pets all across the UK, and training service animals for terminally ill patients. We strongly believe that this incredible charity deserves our support, hence why we are hosting the ‘Forever Friends’ charity concert in their name.

In preparation for this evening (that we personally anticipate to be an ‘award winning’ night), our team has been working hard planning assemblies and ticket sales. After many thorough meetings we believe we have organised a night that will rival past concerts. Part of this complex but exciting planning period was filled with auditions for performers and musicians. All I can say is we were not prepared for the level of talent presented to us. The brilliant variety of musical pieces left our judges stunned and impressed, but scared of the decisions they had to make regarding the schedule, due to limited time space on the night. The standards of the performances bestowed upon us an extremely difficult selection period. However, after several intense meetings, we are confident to have assembled an exciting and beautiful range of performers who promise to make the evening a must-see event.

We anticipate that the ‘Forever Friends’ concert will not only prove to be a magnificent event, but a great way of relaxing before the upcoming examination period, that we all know can be a cause of stress for students – particularly those faced with the daunting GCSEs. This year, it’s a time where friends can come together to support their peers and enjoy a night of beautiful, exciting and moving music.

The concert will take place in the Theatre from 7:30pm – 9:30pm and is open to both students and parents.

Olivia – F4

Songwriting Workshop

I had decided to attend the songwriting workshop not only because I am a BTEC Music student, but also because I was genuinely intrigued to learn how to write and compose songs. Provided one of the units on my BTEC Music course required me to write a song, this workshop was extremely useful. About 30 students attended this event, all of which I assume have a strong interest and passion for music.

The visitors for this workshop included Grammy Nominated singer Becki Biggins and her trio – a pianist and a drummer. The event began at 1:30pm where we were given a brief introduction on how to write songs and explored the different features that make a good song. We all contributed with our own ideas by reflecting on our personal favourite songs and what, in particular, made them good. Eventually, we gathered a list of the features: a repetitive beat, meaningful lyrics which tell an emotional story, a good sense of harmony, a well-structured song and most importantly, a simple and distinguishable melody that gets stuck in your head.

After the introduction with the criteria in mind, we were split into groups of 4-6 members and were given time to come up with 2 lines of a song as a starter activity. 2 lines may seem insignificant but I can assure you that it was an incredibly tough thing to do, especially when you have no direction and absolute no clue on the whole song you are going to write about. Singer-songwriter Becki Biggins assisted us and funnily enough, she simply took one of our school folders, flipped to a random page and picked the phrase, ‘distance travelled’. We finally conquered our songwriting block and came up with ideas based upon that chosen phrase. On top of this, we came up with a tune to go with the lyrics by messing around with simple chords on the piano. With a basic tune and minimal lyrics, we managed to write our own song and consequently had the opportunity to perform the song we had composed within the 2 hours, to the whole group. It was a really enjoyable and fun experience to both perform, as well as listen to what the other groups had composed too.

Following the performances, we gathered in a circle and had a quick Q&A session with the artist and her trio, where we were able to ask them any questions regarding their career and how they got into the music industry etc. The main message that I received from this session was that while it is undeniably tough and time consuming to break into the music industry, it is not an impossible thing to do if you simply have the passion and the will to work hard.

Finally, we all merged and wrote another song together. Within an hour, we had a distinct idea of the lyrics and the melody, by combining a sprinkle of imagination and creativity. We all contributed to the final performance with our independent roles. Some were in charge of singing the harmonies; some were responsible for playing the instruments. With help from the pianist, I had a go at playing and improvising the chords on the piano, and the song we had composed together (if you ask me) ended up being a great success! Although the songwriting workshop lasted about 4 hours, I had such a fun time and it was undoubtedly a Wednesday afternoon well spent.

Rachael – F5


Shropshire Music Showcase

Last Tuesday, tired but happy, a few of us rushed from our last exams to get ready and perform in the ‘Shropshire Showcase Competition’. It was a great experience and a great way to start the Easter holidays!

Weeks of rehearsals all seemed suddenly worth it for the fun we had that evening. It was very scary to perform both to so many strangers and to perform with my friends as a piano quartet for the first time!

The quartet meant that there were four of us playing the piano at the same time which was nerve-wracking as I did not want to be the one to go wrong! Thankfully, I did not and neither did anyone else. We were all so pleased for Ronnie Tse when he won his category in the competition- he definitely deserved it!

It was also lovely to be able to represent the college at the event and be given the chance to meet some young musicians from other schools. While we did not win our category, we all had fun and I know I learnt a lot from the experience. We will definitely be performing as a quartet again soon!

Chloe Young F5