We had an Eisteddfod preparation assembly last week with warm ups led by Mrs Owen plus a sing through of “Yma O Hyd” getting everyone in the mood for this yearly celebration.
We were also lucky enough to have Matlida in year 10, perform a piano solo version of “Lovely” originally by Billie Eilish. Mrs Lackenby said “Matilda came to me last week and asked to perform. She is a really talented pianist and slowly her confidence is growing. It was so good to see her confident enough to perform in front of the whole school. We are very proud of her achievement on Wednesday morning.
No matter how many times you see it in action, the spirit of generosity of the St Gerard’s school community is quite awe-inspiring.
Hot on the heels of the wonderful MacMillan event, we collected a very impressive amount of dry goods, and celebrated with a truly joyous assembly. Reverend Canon Tracy Jones from Bangor Cathedral came to collect the goods on behalf of the local foodbank, and encouraged us to consider a wider spirit of thankfulness, using the analogy of the ingredients of a vegetable lasagna to help us understand that our food comes from many nations.
Having the junior school pupils in the hall was a charming addition to the event – although they made some decidedly unappetizing suggestions as to what might go in the lasagna (lettuce, anyone?) one pupil had us all in stitches with a kind offer to cook the whole thing for reverence Jones.
We finished with a lively song (see link), to round a remarkably happy assembly off. Thank you to all the students, to Reverend Canon Tracy Jones from Bangor Cathedral, and especially to everyone who contributed for the assistance of people in real need.
Harvest Festival Junior's Performance
Alfie treated us to a ‘fretfully’ good performance on his electric guitar this week. After only a couple of weeks of practising, he ‘blew us away’ with his rendition of Tornado Souls, by Megadeath.
alfie tornado souls
It’s not what you think!
Ably assisted by Kerra-Leigh and Eliana, Honey got our morning assembly off to a lively start with her percussive performance of ‘Arabella’, by the Arctic Monkeys. It was a good example of how every successful artist also needs a support crew. Great teamwork, girls!
Honey Monkeying Around
It has been a couple of weeks since we showcased our talented students, so it is time we brought you up to date with a (tuneful) bang …
In Year 7, Joshua continues to make impressive progress on the piano. His latest piece was Mozart’s Sonata number 16. This is a well-known and deceptively simple tune which still presents technical challenges for the performer; challenges which Joshua achieved superbly.
Also in Year 7, Amrit followed Joshua to the piano stool to delight us with Alexis Ffrench’s lovely and well-played piece, ’Bluebell’. Staying in the same year group, Maddie switched instruments and treated us to ‘The Soldier’s Return’ on the xylophone.
In Year 8, Mia continues to develop the strength and range of her lovely voice, singing regularly for us, and moving back to the piano it was wonderful to hear a confident performance of Moonbeams by Barbara Arens from Olivia in Year 10 (and indeed to hear her practising diligently, often as we come into school in the morning. It has paid off).
We feel very lucky to have talent across the school, and the performances in our ‘Awesome Assemblies’ put a spring in everybody’s step for the day ahead. Click the links below to hear some of their performances.
Maddie Soldier's Return
Joshua Mozart Sonata 16
Honey Drumming Up A Storm (click to hear Honey's performance)
With the echoes of Honey’s (very popular) drumming performance at our Eisteddfod still ringing in our ears, she treated us to another song at assembly.
This time, ably supported by Eliana with the backing track, she took on the energy of the Arctic Monkeys, playing their stirring anthem, ‘Snap Out Of It’. Impressively, Honey (Year 7) has been playing drums for just five months! We can see - and hear - how her hours of practicing are paying off.
Amrit Aims For Exam Success (click to hear Amrit's performance)
Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ is a beautiful but technically tricky piece which Amrit (Year 7)is tackling as part of his Grade 4 piano exams. Assembly was an excellent opportunity for some additional practice, and to show us how far he has come in a month’s work on it.
Thank you Amrit, and very best of luck for Grade 4!
Joshua's Recital of Mozart's Ronod Alla Turca
Our musical assemblies continue, with Years 7,8 and 9 singing lustily last week, and Josh entertaining us with the energy of Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca.
Like all good performers, Josh spent a large part of the week before his performance in rehearsal - he had forgotten most of it, but that certainly didn’t show! Startlingly, Mozart wrote this piece at the age of just 7. We wonder what our musical students will do with their undoubted talents as they get older - rest assured we will keep you updated!
Even with the echoes of Eisteddfod still fading away, our students are still dazzling us with fresh musical performances.
Click this link to hear Kai's rendition.
Kai delighted us with the charming and quite haunting ‘Song of Twilight’, by Japanese composer, Yoshinao Nakada. The piece is deceptive – the right hand occupies itself with the spacious melody, and performers can achieve a more pleasing tone by imagining that the fingers of the right hand are stuck to the keys throughout, helping to achieve a light touch. Meanwhile, the left hand does the essential underpinning with a steady, almost hypnotic pulse of chords. Right and left combine in the same way that the piece is a blend of eastern and western culture in musical form. Knowing the technique adds another dimension to our appreciation of how well Kai performed.
We were also very entertained by Ellie and Rose singing Conan Gray’s poignant song of unrequited love, ‘Heather’. For those of you who don’t know the track, apparently it’s largely autobiographical, based on a person he was in love with through high school. Great choice, girls.
Owi Last Post
November is a month of Remembrance here, in which the whole community pays tribute to the sacrifices of our armed forces and those others who have suffered in defence of freedom.
Student contributions were front and centre of our whole school assembly. Morgan and Ellen in Year 12 set a reflective tone with readings of the classic war poems, ‘In Flanders Fields’ (McCrae) and ‘For the Fallen’ (Binyon) respectively. Later, Owen in Year 8 took up his cornet and delivered a beautiful, solemn rendition of The Last Post. Thank you to all three students for their contributions.
Alfie Thunderstruck AC-DC
Alfie in year 7, took to the stage for an uplifting and technically excellent performance of “Thunderstruck” written by AC/DC. This was a nice change of pace for our assembly performances and shows the range of skills our students are developing in their own time.
Joshua Main Theme From Amelie
There have been so many impressive performances by our students so far this year that it has taken us a while to report on them all. At the end of last month, Year 7 student Joshua wowed everyone with his skill and dexterity in performing the main theme from ‘Amelie’ on the piano.
Remarkably, Joshua is self-taught, and only began playing at the beginning of 2021! It is a testament to his drive and determination that he has reached such a high standard so quickly. It also demonstrates to us all the value of practice (and equally, revision) in harnessing our potential.
Thank you, Joshua. We thoroughly enjoyed your playing, and hope you will perform something else for us soon.
Mia Tomorrow From Annie
Another of our Key Stage 3 students, Mia, made everyone’s day with an uplifting musical performance: this time singing ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical, “Annie”. It is a demanding piece, which Mia delivered with great vocal range and tone. We look forward to seeing – and hearing - what Mia (and her peers) will entertain us with next.
The students continue to impress both staff and their peers not only with their musical talents, but with their confidence in performing in front of an audience. This is a key life skill we actively try to foster at St Gerard’s. Additionally, these morning assembly performances really set a happy, positive tone for the day ahead.
Xuan Can Can mp3
To kick off our musical ‘performances of the week’ section, Xuan in Year 8 bravely took to the piano in front of the school for a beautiful rendition of "The Can Can".