Over 130 pupils took part in the Swale Recorder Festival on 22 May 2018, representing Highsted Grammar School, Selling C of E Primary School, Minterne Junior School, St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Hartlip Endowed C of E Primary School, Westlands Primary School, Borden C of E Primary School, Regis Manor Primary School, Tunstall C of E Primary School, Grove Park Primary School and Meadowfield School. The event was instigated by the music teachers in the Swale Music Network and was organised by Kent Music in collaboration with Pippa Arden of Highsted Grammar School.
The festival was conducted by the talented woodwind specialist Nicky Catterwell who chose a varied programme of pieces including a creative piece where every school had the chance to compose and perform their own section. Nicky happened to go to Highsted as a pupil, so was thrilled to be back in the school leading the festival!
The pupils all learned the pieces beforehand before coming together for the afternoon of rehearsals and a performance to families and guests. As well as playing in the massed ensemble, each school performed an individual item and the audience were treated to some wonderful performances including ‘Eight Days a Week’ and the funky recorder piece ‘Pineapples are Juicy.’ Mark Smith provided a piano accompaniment including some spontaneous improvised lounge jazz while the audience were arriving!
The members of the Highsted recorder group helped out on the day, greeting the primary pupils and supporting the different recorder parts in the ensemble. They were brilliant role models and the primary pupils were inspired by their performance of Danny Boy.
“Thanks for a really enjoyable recorder festival last week. We all really enjoyed it. It was so good for the pupils to play alongside other schools and realise that lots of people play the recorder… The festival certainly had a positive impact on the children and the parents enjoyed it too. It really gave the children something to work towards and a reason for practicing! The compose your own piece was great- nice for each school to have its moment!”- Primary music teacher
We are now looking forward to the joint school events in Swale next year. Please contact Lucy Duff firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas or to get involved!