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The School’s ever competitive House Singing Competition took place on 1 October. What a competition it was. Judged by Sian Ford, Director of Music at Lanesborough Prep School, all houses were keen to impress and make their mark on the competition.
In keeping with tradition, proceedings began with the house unison section. Surrey House was the first to perform, with an energetic rendition of Magic’s Rude. Gloucester House then impressed with the classic Proud Mary, performed tidily and with great flair.
East House followed. A rendition of James Blunt’s Wise Men began after a quirky organ introduction of Bach’s famous Toccata, whilst the House gathered at the front of the Chapel. Will Hey then presented the baton to Richard Maltz for the performance, which was greatly enjoyed by all.
North’s rendition of It’s Raining Men was quite something: the dramatic skill of Jack Neale, Jack Simpkin and Tom Fleming brought humour to the hearts of the audience. It was then West House’s turn to impress, and that they did. The House performed Take That’s Patience with skill, and brought a tear to the eye of many. Andrew Terrafranca’s enthusiastic conducting cannot go unmentioned.
Next up was Haslewood House, with a rendition of Queen’s Somebody to Love. This could only be described as a showstopper: the House’s energy and musical panache both spectacular. Churchill pulled off the unusual choice of Runaround Sue by Dion with great energy, combining enthusiasm and skill.
The penultimate house to perform in the unison competition was South, with an exciting and strong rendition of Riptide by Vance Joy. Finally, it was Montgomery House’s chance to shine. Their bold performance combined clean dynamics with good intonation, and it was clear that the House had devoted a lot of effort to the performance.
Amongst each performance, however, there had to be a first, second and third place. These were called by the judge as follows:
1st Haslewood House
2nd West House
3rd (joint) Gloucester and South Houses
The part-song section of the event was just as hard to judge. Churchill opened with a fantastic rendition of Say Something, by Christian Aguilera. The performance combined strong intonation, differentiation of textures and varying dynamics. William Payne’s solo was quite something.
East House followed with a performance of Bill Whithers’ Lean on Me. Will Hey and Richard Maltz offered creditable solos, along with tight harmonies from the rest of the ensemble.
West House won over the hearts of the audience for the second time with their performance of Sam Smith’s Stay with Me. Andrew Terrafranca and Harry Flynn had worked hard in arranging the piece, and it paid off; their performance was strong. Richard Kenyon’s petite solo at the end of the performance won the favour of many, and the rendition finished to enormous applause.
Montgomery House was next with a rendition of Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours, performed with great togetherness and quality. Outstanding solos came from Alistair Blair and James Gardner.
Haslewood demonstrated a very strong performance of Lorde’s Royals – extremely accurate and a highly enjoyable performance. North then performed the famous Chasing Cars, by Snow Patrol. Solos from Ian Alexander, Jack Simpkin and Jack Neale really made the performance, which showed good musical quality.
Gloucester’s part-song brought a touch of difference. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, whilst not an obvious choice, lent itself well to the slow ballad arrangement, and the girls should be pleased with their fantastic efforts.
South then performed Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere. Again, tight intonation and varying harmonies were in abundance. Finally, Surrey House ended the competition with rock classic Under the Bridge, by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. A sublime solo from James Cook, supported by a strong section of backing singers, made for a great performance.
The standard was very high, and as it was with the unison section, placements were very hard to call. The final standing was announced as follows:
1st Montgomery House
2nd South House
3rd Haslewood House
Nick Smith, Director of Music, commented: “The standards were exceptionally high, which made the adjudicator’s job almost impossible in choosing first, second and third places for both the unison and part-song competitions.”
The School would like to thank Sian Ford for taking the time to adjudicate the competition, and to congratulate both the winners and everyone who took part.
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