Woodley Festival


We woke up to a grey and cold Saturday morning but the dreary weather soon was forgotten with the sound of choirs singing at Emmbrook School.  It has been three years since the choirs from the Junior School have taken part in Woodley Festival due to the pandemic and over 150 students in four choirs were really excited for the opportunity to finally be able to sing in public for a live audience and adjudicator.  First to perform were Cantilena, a choir that consists of every single member of Lower and Upper Prep.  They entertained the audience with a two part song called The Puzzle followed by a gentle song called Silver Moon by one of our favourite composers, Lin Marsh, showing such concentration for students so young.  The adjudicator said the choir sang with good expression and phrasing. A second place and silver medal was presented to the choir.

Next followed Kensington Choir who sang two contrasting songs of Rock Paper Scissors, and The Moon.  They sang with such enjoyment and faces awash with smiles.  The strong two part singing was mentioned by the adjudicator and when it was announced that they had come second and gained a silver medal, the cheer resounded round the hall.

Lunch beckoned for everyone and a chance to regroup before Somerleaze Singers arrived.  Somerleaze Singers has 90 members from Upper II and Lower III and all were ready to finally sing for a live audience.  A number of the choir from last year had spent the year singing on their own in their homes, videoing their parts to become a virtual choir, and it was such a delight to finally hear them sing as one.  Another Lin Marsh song, Catch me if you Can, followed by a complex clapping song, Clap Your Hands, was met with cheers from the audience.  Every member of the choir stood proud with a smile and the students were over the moon when it was announced that Somerleaze Singers had won their class. The adjudicator mentioned their descriptive tone, energy and impressive clapping!!  

Whilst Somerleaze Singers were celebrating, members of the Chamber Choir were getting ready to sing in their class.  They were up against it, as they were a few members down due to illness, but they rose to the occasion and sang with such passion and commitment that they couldn’t have done any more.  The adjudicator commented upon the energy and commitment of the choir. It was a close class, but Chamber Choir was awarded first place.  What a fantastic return to singing!

Meanwhile over in Woodley at The Oakwood Centre a number of students from Upper Prep, LI and Upper Iwere taking part in the instrumental class of Woodley Festival.

Meiyu (Upper I) performed on her violin in the Grade 4- 5 String Solo class and was awarded first place.  Her sister Melody (Upper Prep), also playing the violin, came second in the beginner string class.  

Manxi (Upper I)), violin, and Meiyu also played in the 9 years old and under String solo class and were placed first and second respectively.  They didn’t stop there and, along with another friend, played in the Ensemble 13 years and under class and won with the top mark of Outstanding.  

Meanwhile, Isabella (Lower I) played her cello in the 11 years and under Recital class, placing first and Katherine (Lower I) played her violin in the beginners class, placing second.

Shanaya and Zuleyha also took part in string solo classes during the weekend receiving  certificates for their performances.

What a fantastic weekend for all our musicians.  Woodley Festival continues over the next couple of weekends and there are more performances from Junior School students.

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