For one night during the second week of Term 3, the Woodford House hall was the set of a magical night. In the hall, adorned with hand cut snowflakes, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy could be heard tinkling away in the background as more than 50 excited performers were chattering backstage.
It was the evening of the 2018 Winter Arts Showcase. This student-led event saw 10 of the premier organised arts groups perform a snippet of their hard work from the year so far for an audience of parents and students. The performers and student leaders were excellent on the stage – well prepared, charismatic, technically proficient and very entertaining.
Each group performed under the supervision of a student leader, some of which worked alongside the itinerant or staff director, and some of which directed the group themselves along with the help of other students.
Girls such as Ella Ruddle, Year 11 – Head of Jazz Band, Annabelle Fenn, Year 11 – Head of Dance, and Isobel Ham, Year 10 – Head of Orchestra, spent the previous two terms liaising between the itinerant directors of their groups, the students in their groups and the logistics organisers at the School. Their leadership was evident on stage. This was particularly clear in the orchestra’s performance. Being the newest group at Woodford House, the girls pulled together a repertoire of six pieces from the short time they have been practising together. This was a testament to the hard work and passion for music from all members of the group.
Another group that stood out as having made grand strides this year was the Year 7 and 8 Choir. This development choir, led by Year 13 student Ella Mischefski-Gray and Year 12 student Juliet Wilkie performed a heartwarming rendition of When I Grow Up from the musical Matilda, conducted by Ella. As well as having a role in the Evita production, the Year 7 and 8 Choir also worked hard to perfect three pieces for the Kids Sing 2018 competition for which they were awarded Silver and the Adjudicators’ Award for their performance of When I Grow Up. The rapport that the senior leaders had with their young choristers was something to be admired, and made for a wonderful performance.
Overall, it was a successful evening and a credit to the hard work of the Visual and Performing Arts Committee, in particular Emily Park, Head of Music, who led the organisation of the whole event, as well as being an MC and performing in many of the groups on the night. It was a wonderful event where the excellent leadership and talent within Performing Arts was shared and celebrated, in a cosy setting with family and friends.
Amelia Foster, Arts Prefect