Courage. Courage in each precise movement on stage. Courage in auditioning for a performance. Courage in exposing yourself for the sake of your House. This year’s House Arts theme was one exemplified not only in the passionate performances skillfully delivered by each House, but more so in every student’s efforts and attitude towards House Arts.

Most students have unknowingly embarked on this pursuit for courage even before the actual House Arts event. Chances are that your days before House Arts were brimming with practice sessions, from after prep until room check. That guarantees you sprinting back to your room drained from the hectic activities of the day, yet still oddly satisfied.

For me, the endeavour of ‘courage’ began during the auditions for Mandela House Poetry. With only 8 places and a throng of willing applicants, I was genuinely convinced I would not get in. Still, I ‘rose’ to the challenge (a running motif in Mandela’s House Arts) and pushed myself to tackle the audition to the best of my ability. My ‘courage’ paid off and I was given the privilege to perform for Mandela House. The following days were, of course, filled with one practice session after another, albeit everyone involved in House Arts was too. What kept me driven was the sheer motivation and support my fellow Mandelians and especially my House Poetry group tirelessly showered on me. The energy we displayed in each practice, the exhilaration we experienced when we had a ‘perfect practice’, the support we received from not just those in our houses but those in other houses as well. This truly revealed to me the spirit of Concord College – a tirelessly motivated yet unapologetically compassionate community.

As said in the wise words of Vincent Yung, “Imagine you’re winning the Grammys, Oscars and Tonys all at once. Every action, every word, make it over the top.” In essence, reflecting Concords ethos ‘To be more than you are’. Which to me has never been more apparent than at this year’s House Arts.

Rachel – 6.1

House Arts 2017- the result!

Definitely for everyone participating in the House Arts, the past two weeks were filled with intense planning and countless rehearsals. Finally, the day has come.

House Arts is the most exciting and entertaining show in our very own theatre. This single night involves four striking performances from each house (song, dance, poetry, ensemble), all portraying the theme of Hope. Members of the audience loved it. The crowd included the student body, teachers, staff, as well as our families from all around the world who accessed it through the live stream online. The judges reiterated themselves that the competition was even greater this year and the decision was extremely tough. The winners for each category are as followed:

House Dance: Teresa

House Poem: Pankhurst

House Ensemble: Mandela

House Song: Gandhi

Brandy Chu, who has been in Concord since Form 3, along with Eric Tay, have finally brought back the House Arts trophy for Mandela House for the first time in years.  Followed by Teresa and Gandhi as the tied runners up, and Pankhurst as the 2nd runners up.

Most importantly, the students all enjoyed the event and the whole experience of preparing for this night. House Arts is always an amazing opportunity for students to get to know each other better, despite being in different year levels (upper school, lower school) or being a boarding/day student. One single performance is a showcase of tens and tens of hours of students’ collaboration, hard work and perseverance outside of the classroom. It exemplifies the “all-roundedness” factor of Concord students who are able to maintain high-performing grades along with participating in extra curricular activities, being talented (whether in music, dance, theatre, poem, singing, art or all), while having the confidence to show these skills.

Despite not winning House Arts, as Teresa House Captains, Sergey and I have never seen our house as driven and united before. The chanting, clapping, and cheering was an environment we all definitely treasured, which made us feel extremely happy and blessed for our house, our spirit and the four memorable acts we all created from scratch.

The night wrapped up with a special surprise performance by the 8 house captains, dancing and singing to the well-known soundtrack “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical. The performance later involved the prefects joining us on stage and the other students singing along in the audience. It was a perfect end to the night. Despite rooting and competing for different houses, we are all united as the close-knit community of Concord College.

This year’s House Arts was an uplifting start to our spring term. For us 6.2s, it will definitely be remembered as one of the best highlights of our fleeting time here.

Additional Photos and Videos can be accessed here:

Ness Tangjetanapon 6.2  (Teresa House Captain)

House Arts 2017

On the 21st January all of the House Captains and the Heads of Houses met up to finally get information and instructions about the upcoming House Artscompetition. This year’s theme was ‘hope.’

As soon as all the instructions were distributed, the house prefects started coming up with ideas for a song, dance, poem and ensemble without delay. From that day, we only had 2 weeks to organize and prepare four 5-minute acts. Although stressful, the prefects definitely had a lot of fun organizing and being creative with ideas.

Practices began the following Monday and it was hectic. Many people came to participate and it was definitely seeing all of the students from the same house gather and work together to create songs and dances with such talent and enthusiasm.

There were a range of talents seen – from pianists, guitarists, drummers, to public speakers and dancers, the variety was endless. It was especially heart warming to see people who are normally more shy come out of their comfort zone and just participate to have fun and to be around new people and make new friends.

Eugene Uhomoibhi 6.2 (Pankhurst House Captain)

House Arts 2015

As always in our iconic “Concord style”, the annual House Arts competition 2015 allowed teams of “Concordians” transform collective brainpower into reality, each from one of our four Houses: Mandela, Teresa, Pankhurst and Gandhi.  This year the four categories were the house song, house dance, house poetry and house ensemble.

It was such a great success with outstanding performances throughout the three-hour event.  This should have proven a great challenge for our judges Mr Kerslake, Mr Wilson and Mrs Coward to decide giving the trophy to Teresa House, the overall champion.  Effort and excellence in each category were also appreciated as Mandela won the house poem, Teresa won the house ensemble, a draw between Pankhurst and Teresa in house dance and a draw in house song between Mandela and Gandhi.

Audience including teachers, staff, house parents, visitors and students enjoyed themselves at the event.  Despite the tight schedule of just two weeks (this is unbelievable) to create all performances from scratch and to go through rehearsals, all the Houses achieved higher standards than we ever expected.  The strong participation of students in House Arts this year will set yet another benchmark for next year’s competitors.

Alan Yung Chi To  6.1

House Arts Competition

After weeks of anticipation and hard work every house got an opportunity to present their unique and outstanding performances. This year, teams were competing in four categories entitled as House Ensemble, House Dance, House Poetry and House Song.
This year’s theme was ‘Celebration’ and each house managed to present it in a different way. Gandhi house celebrated weddings while Pankhurst took a different approach and celebrated Birthdays.
Judged by Mr. Kerslake, Dr. Outram, and Mrs. Hawkins the overall winners of 2014 House Arts Competition were Teresa house members.
Yet each category had a champion, Mandela house won House Poetry and House Song categories, while Teresa house won for the House Dance and House Ensemble. The scores were really close between all four houses, which is probably the best indicator of how difficult it was for the judges to come to a mutual decision.
Despite the fact that winners were chosen, every house enjoyed themselves! Each house practice was fun; it united us and gave each of the students a sense of house spirit. Overall, I believe that everyone had a great time this Saturday, either participating or supporting one’s house members. 
Oleksandra Torubara 6.1