House Song 2016

The highlight of the House competition calendar… House Song 2016 was a highly memorable occasion.

The theme: Take That.

The format: each of the six groups (with multiple boarding houses in each group) performs a house choir song connected to the theme and a chamber choir song of their own choice, with all the arrangements, conducting, and rehearsals led by Upper Sixth students.

The objective: to win at least one of the three prizes, best conductor, best chamber choir, best house choir.

The Tennis Centre was full to bursting and the excitement of the students was palpable. After a special video message from Mark Owen made just for Millfield, Choir C kicked things off with ‘Greatest Day’ and an ambitious mash-up of songs from the chamber choir. Choir D slowed things down with the classic ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and then paid tribute to two of the biggest names in pop music at the moment, Adele and Beyoncé, with their chamber choir performance.

Choir E continued a stellar set of Take That songs with ‘Back for Good’, with their chamber choir doing Florence and the Machine proud with their take on ‘Dog Days Are Over’. Choir F maintained the high standard with ‘The Flood’ and a challenging arrangement of Daft Punk for the chamber choir. Next, Choir G upped the tempo with their version of ‘Shine’ and continued the contemporary choices for their chamber choir with ‘Royals’.

Penultimate performers, Choir A, turned to the movies with their choice of ‘Rule the World’, and wowed with their chamber choir arrangement of ‘Some Nights’. Finally, Choir B finished off the competition in style with ‘Everything Changes’ and added a dose of funk and soul to the evening with the chamber choir mash-up.

As the students waited nervously for the results, the Year 9s got the biggest cheers of the evening with their performance of ‘Never Forget’. Students from the other year groups joined in enthusiastically with the actions and gave the Year 9s a standing ovation at the end. Then, the evening moved on to what all the students had been waiting for: the results.

Visiting adjudicator, highly respected musician and music educator Jonathan Newell, took the stage and started by thanking all of those who had been involved in such a fantastic evening of collaborative music-making. House Song is unique in the way it brings together every single student into choral performance, and winning one of the prizes has become highly prestigious and an incentive for incredibly hard work by the students. After giving each choir some feedback, Jonathan Newell announced the results:

Best conductor: Abigail (Choir F)

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Jonathan Newell (left) and Abigail (right)

Best chamber choir: Choir F

Best house choir: Choir C

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Jonathan Newell (centre) and the Choir C conductors, Holly (left) and Lebo (right)

Enormous thanks need to go to Jonathan Newell for judging such a close contest; Mr Boyle and Mrs Barry for accompanying some of the choirs; Ms Rose for bringing together the Year 9 choir performance; Mr Cook for introducing the evening; all of the technical staff for filming and organising the sound; Mark Owen for his kind message; all of the student conductors and accompanists for creating such a brilliant sound; and finally, all the students for putting in such hard work and creating a brilliant evening for the whole school and visiting friends and family.

Enjoyed House Song? Why not join the Choir on Tuesday lunchtimes? Brilliant music, the opportunity to perform in concerts in the Johnson Hall and Wells Cathedral, and a fantastic bunch of people.

Choir – every Tuesday, 12.50-1.50pm, Johnson Hall foyer

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