There may be a popular belief that school winds down as we approach the summer holidays, but if that’s true, it seems that the performing arts department missed the memo! Pupils have been showing off their talents and doing the school proud in a packed schedule of concerts and other events both in school and in the wider community.
The Wales Millennium Centre was the venue for a lunchtime concert featuring a variety of music performed by pupils from Years 7-13. With many of our pupils unavailable due to exam commitments, we were thoroughly impressed with the determination shown by some new Year 7 performers who stepped up for their first solo performances on a big public stage. Well done! On a personal note, we also saw the last outing for the current incarnation of the Sixth Form Choir. Many thanks to all of you for your amazingly hard work this year – you did me proud and I’ll miss those of you going on to pastures new.
Audience members made a point of coming up and congratulating the musicians, and I was surprised to be shaken warmly by the hand by several visitors from different parts of the USA who were amazed at the standard of performance they had witnessed. We hope to return to the WMC early next year.
You can watch the performance, courtesy of the WMC’s The Centre Connected catchup facility, by going here.
We welcomed our feeder primary schools to our contribution to the National CânSing Day for a second year. Mr Thomas gave all involved a high-energy workout for their voices, which hopefully gave plenty of inspiration for all involved.
Lucie-Anne Davies and Lowri Morris gave solo performances of the highest standard at our prize giving ceremony. The repertoire covered 18th century opera and musical theatre and really added something to this annual celebration of success. It’s fair to say that the sports hall here at Y Pant is far from an easy venue for performers, and both singers approached the challenge with a high level of professionalism, making a tricky task look easy.
The Eisteddfod is a quintessentially Welsh event which celebrates artistic and literary endeavour across many disciplines, so it was no surprise to see musical talent strongly represented among the various competitions. The eisteddfod is a Year 7 and 8 event, so it is usually ‘one to watch’ for people looking out for the next generation of musical stars at Y Pant. We have discovered several of our best performers here, and the high standard in both solo and group competitions suggest that we can look forward to many more years of filling concert programmes, despite saying goodbye to some top-quality Year 11 and 13 musicians this summer.
As part of their BTEC music course, a group of Year 12 students organised a charity concert at Pontyclun Athletic Club in aid of Velindre hospital, giving a platform to a large number of our young musicians (and performing themselves, of course!), and entertaining an audience large enough to require last-minute extra seating in the hall. Ex-pupils The Broadcasts kindly gave their time to end the concert with a rousing hour-long set which showed why they have been snapped up by a record label and booked for gigs all over the country, and at the end of the night everyone was astonished to find well over £1000 in the kitty to donate to a very worthy cause. Many congratulations to all involved!
Many of our events are well-established parts of the school calendar, but this year saw a new addition: our first Transition Music Day. This brought together instrumentalists from our feeder primary schools, who met young musicians from Key Stage 3 at Y Pant. An intensive morning of rehearsals meant that new friends were made, and the 107 performers took to the stage after lunch to give a short concert to friends and family. We hope to see most if not all of the Year 6 pupils who attended continuing their instrumental lessons once they join us in September. Although leaving scheduled lessons once a week to have an instrumental lesson can mean having to catch up work, this is more than outweighed by the huge positive effect that learning an instrument (or singing) has been proven to have on young people’s physical and mental development. Please contact the school for further details of our instrumental/vocal provision. Our grateful thanks go to everyone at the RCT Music Service who helped make this event possible. Not only do they provide our instrumental/vocal tuition, but also organise a variety of choirs, orchestras and other groups outside of school, which are vitally important for the development of the next generation of young musicians. I cannot recommend them enough for anyone who is serious about becoming a musician.
Ex-pupil Rebecca James, now an up-and-coming singer in London, joined us to open the second Y Pant Summer Fete, and kicked off a packed programme of open-air performances. Seasoned musicians and new arrivals alike entertained the crowd all afternoon.
So, is it time for the music teachers to put the kettle on and take a well-earned rest? Not quite.
We have another Year 12-organised BTEC charity concert, this time in the main hall. Tickets available on the door, lots of excellent performers!
Our annual farewell assembly will, of course, feature some excellent musical contributions to send the school off with a smile.
Thanks to everyone for their support as always, and we look forward to another packed year in September. Have a great summer!