William Shrewsbury Artsmark Award

William Shrewsbury Primary School had been awarded the Plantinum Artsmark Award to mark the fact that it champions the arts in school and strives for excellence in providing them.

To celebrate this achievement pupils from William Shrewsbury performed two concerts for parents at the Brewhouse arts centre.

I was invited to watch the afternoon concert and to see for myself the wide array of talents that the school is developing.

Now some of you may have a fixed idea of what a school concert is like, indeed I can remember only too well attending them when my children went to William Shrewsbury.

My how they have changed.

The pupils put on a show that contained as much variety as Sunday Night at the London Palladium used to have. There were gymnasts, creative dancers, the school band, readings and The Acorn Djembes.

Along with this we had multiple soloists who played a range of instruments: violins, a saxophonist, clarinettist, flautist, trombonist and pianist as well as the Acorn Recorders. The musical choices stretched the performers rather than allowed them to just coast through the pieces.

Items played ranged from Land of Hope and Glory to La Lutine and from Podmoskovnye Vechera to the Gobstopper Waltz and took in a variety of musical; styles and genres.

The readings were very well done and it was good to hear The Famous Five Diaries being read. I was delighted it is still a book that is turned to.

The concert was ably linked by the two comperes who, although on stage the whole time, never distracted from the other performances.

Headteacher Bernadette Hunter praised the children for their professionalism and indeed also for their bravery. She said: “It is one thing to perform in the school hall but it is a different experience when you are confronted by a tiered audience in a theatre.”

Mrs Hunter also praised the school’s staff who had made the event possible and singled out Mrs Ellen Godfrey for having the vision for the show and for delivering it.

In conversation with Mrs Hunter after the show we agreed that there were several performers that we were sure would go on to grace stages and concerts platforms in the years to come.

The Artsmark Award provides schools with access to high quality and practical resources and networks that will enable them to use the arts to inspire learning and harness the power of the arts in developing happy, successful and confident young people.

For further information on the Artsmark Award scheme go to: http://artsmark.org.uk/

Bill Pritchard.

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