Students from all four schools in the Ark Hastings network joined together for the first time to put on a Winter Concert performance for parents and local dignitaries, including the Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Judy Rogers.
The event featured both primary and secondary schools from Ark Blacklands, Ark Little Ridge, Ark William Parker and Ark Helenswood and included school choirs, strings and recorder players. Ark William Parker’s rock band performed a new take on Wham’s Last Christmas and student Milo, who read the main lesson, played the violin.
In the run up to the concert, students received support from local musicians and singers with their choir rehearsals; mentors included professional singers, Rebecca Højlund and Susannah Appleyard both of whom are involved in the local choral and operatic scene.
The primary schools sang a beautiful version of In The Bleak Midwinter; the two secondary school choirs sang their version of Pharrell’s Happy, which they had been workshopping in their Music classes throughout the term, as part of the new Ark Secondary Music Programme.
The four schools joined together for the grand finale of Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song.
Concert goers were treated to mince pies and congregational carols throughout the evening.
Jane Fletcher, Regional Director and Executive Principal of Ark William Parker said, “It’s wonderful to see our primary and secondary students performing great music together. Hastings has a vibrant musical community and we hope to see these young performers feeling inspired to get involved and become musical leaders of the future.”
Governor William Barham who found the event terrifically enjoyable, particularly the rock band performance, said, “It was a pleasure to see and hear the primary school choirs doing their age appropriate performances and to see the Helenswood and William Parker students step up and sing, visibly gaining confidence as they went along. Tremendous achievements by them all.
“It was also a pleasure to watch the music staff from across our schools work so well together, get so much out of their choirs and to be so clearly enjoying themselves. With the Church completely packed, the Priest rocking in his stall, smiles and happiness everywhere; parents must have been delighted and the Mayor thrilled. Thank you and congratulations to all!”
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