Let’s Sing ’16

On Tuesday 1st November, I was privileged to attend the Year 7 Let’s Sing event, held in the school hall. It was an outstanding event, and so well attended that we had to provide seating in the corridor to fit everyone in it. The musical numbers were beautifully chosen and kept the night upbeat and heart-warming. The whole of Year 7 were singing – all 150 pupils! One thing that was apparent immediately, and throughout the performance, was their discipline; they stood on command and all moved together beautifully, including in some synchronized movement which was very effective and a credit to their commitment. Bare Necessities was the first number and was communal but Year 7 easily drowned us out with their impassioned singing. Each form then had their own chance to shine and really rose to the occasion. 7R sang Michael Jackson’s The Man in the Mirror and I was surprised by how well this was suited to choral work – the lyrics were given chance to shine by the form’s precise and beautiful singing. Something inside so Strong by Labi Siffri was sung by 7M and they built up to a moving ending superbly. 7U chose History from One Direction and did a great job – for me this was better than the band’s version! 7T sang Adele’s Someone Like You – a great choice which the form clearly loved. The final form performance was 7S, who sang the massively cheerful Happy by Pharrell Williams; this was a truly stirring performance.

In the middle of all this, Mrs Williams fired up the audience, getting us to sing ‘Consider Yourself’ from ‘Oliver!’: the audience gave it their all and we didn’t entirely murder the song (although we tried!).

The finale was The Circle of Life from The Lion King, written by Elton John. I have been lucky enough to work at Urmston Grammar for 30 years and in all that time I have never seen a whole year group perform anything so well as Year 7 did. It was beautifully sung; every child singing their heart out and following the complex orchestration flawlessly. I found the experience truly moving and had to hide my face from other members of staff and the hundreds of parents who were avidly watching Year 7, just to hide the fact that a vice-principal had dissolved into a puddle of mush!

Mrs Williams and Miss Wabiak must take the credit for inspiring Year 7 and for the hours of rehearsal that went into such a spectacular night. I know they were ably supported by Mrs Walker (Head of Y7) and by all the Y7 Form Tutors. It was a remarkable evening and a credit to all involved – especially to Year 7, who should be immensely proud of their achievement.

M. Parker

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