It's almost Christmas and what a way to end the term. The annual carol service took place at St Anne's Church last night and I can honestly say this has been the highlight of my time at Kew College so far.
Every child from Junior House sang whole-heartedly; whether it was as part of a full ensemble performance, or part of a solo year group piece.
From a conductor's point of view, it can sometimes be difficult to hear the full effect of over 100 voices singing, but the feedback given by all who attended was that it was excellent. Many have commented that it was the "best yet", which is fantastic to hear and is really encouraging for all of our children who have worked phenomenally hard since October to make it such a special evening.
With the help of our new accompanist Mr Miguel the whole service ran flawlessly. This year I decided to keep the service traditional where all of the carols would be well-known and recognisable. For many in the audience this was appreciated as when I did turn around occasionally in between carol verses I could see many parents, teachers, and even younger siblings joining in with the repertoire that we had chosen for this service.
There were many carols that I will always remember for the sheer enjoyment factor: from the haunting 2-part harmony in carols such as In the Bleak Mid-Winter and In Dulci Jubilo where Y6 really managed to hold their own and shone vocally, to the innocent young voices of Y3 singing O little town of Bethlehem every single performance was done with enthusiasm. The Y4 solo song Calypso Carol was a particular show stopper of the service for many as the children clearly enjoyed what they were doing and gave a perfect performance effortlessly.
The main highlight for me was seeing the smiles on each and every child's face when they were singing throughout the carol service. These young vocalists have achieved so much in such a short space of time that I am really proud of them, as is the school.
Now that we have set the standard bar high at Kew for the carol service the challenge next year will be to see how we can continue to improve, and to think of new ideas.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of the children in the carol service; singers and musicians alike, and I look forward to continuing to build up our repertoire, reputation, and overall performance next year.
Do have a well-earned rest over the Christmas holidays everyone and keep those voices fresh for the New Year!
Head of Music