A Musical Christmas at St Bede’s Catholic School and Byron Sixth Form
As Head of Music at school and the Organist & Director of Music for St Giles Church in Durham, I always look forward to Advent and Christmas and being able to start rehearsing the music for concerts and services. Planning for these events is usually done in the summer and this year the Advent and Christmas services for St Giles and our own Carol Concert and Bede’s Voices and Wind Band Primary School tour, were planned in the 30 degree heatwave of the first week of the 6 weeks holidays.
Christmas is such an important time of year in the life of the church, school and individual families; in our concerts and celebrations I feel it is really important to try and capture the imagination of young and old alike, while also including music from a wide variety of traditions, musical eras and from both the religious and secular aspects of Christmas.
Over the last 3 academic years I have been privileged to start the rebuilding process of the Music department and over this period of time, I have aimed to develop the skills of our musicians and singers as well as build links with our feeder primary schools. This year we had the largest number of performers taking part in our Christmas Carol Concert and Primary School Tour, which was a real success.
On Friday 9th December, 36 members of Bede’s Voices and Wind Band travelled around some of our feeder Primary Schools to perform a short concert of Christmas Music. This is the third year we have been privileged to be out and about and visited St William’s, Trimdon, St Joseph’s, Murton, Arce Rigg Academy, St Mary Magdalen’s, Seaham and Our Lady of Lourdes, Shotton. To see the smiles and real attentiveness of the pupils in each primary school, as well as hear them sing and join in the final medley of carols, was extremely fulfilling as well as great fun.
‘Christmas Joy’, our annual Christmas concert took place on Wednesday 14th December in the main school hall. Students from St Bede’s, Bryon, St Mary Magdalen’s, Seaham and for one piece St Godric’s, Wheatley Hill, together with a number of staff performed a wide variety of music for Christmas. The support of the Durham Music Service is a vital part of our on-going success and I would like to thank our peri-staff for giving up the time to attend and assist our pupils in this way. The concert was extremely well supported by parents, guardians, staff and members of the parishes. As well as giving students the opportunities to perform and showcase their talent, our two concerts per year enable the on-going development and expansion of extra-curricular musical activities. We use the financial provision of ticket sales to purchase ensemble music and other vital supplies that help to make our concerts successful. Your ongoing support of these events is much appreciated by staff and pupils alike.
Please make a note of the date for our next concert which will be held on Wednesday 5th April at 6pm and is entitled A Night at the Theatre with music from “Disney” and the “Musical”.