I had two tickets to two shows this week. Each left me in tears, they always do. I’m a cry baby when it comes to watching performers give it their all, chins up, voices blazing, singing with all their might. I like miserable Mary’s and cross Inn Keepers. The story of Christmas told over and over again in all it’s glory. Shepherds and Kings and Wise men coming together to celebrate hope.
It’s a good story and I’m glad it’s shared in this way. We could just have someone read the big book but we don’t do we? We take the time to get the costumes, choose the actors, learn the lines and make the entrances to tell the story. This is how we have done it for thousands of years.
As well as the Nativity they shared stories of hope from World War ll and sang great Jazz, Rock and Hip Hop tunes from a breadth and wealth of music.
In our diverse community we have been celebrating each other for months with festivals from around the world and understanding of how we each choose to mark time, remembrance and self.
At the High School we were treated to Nessun Dorma and Pretty Woman played by the Steel Band Orchestra, we then had an amazing performance from a solo dancer with the power to captive the whole audience. He fooled us into thinking he was just cute with his cheeky grin, then he made a move that sent shivers down my spine. He popped and locked so hard it demanded the audiences full attention and deserved the reception he got at the end. This little man now has the full respect from the entire school not only because he can dance but because he shared his skill and talent with such joy. You could feel the music ripple off him.
Year groups through from 7 to 11 shared the stage. Sharing what they knew, entertaining the crowd, looking nervously on and gaining confidence with every refrain.
These two schools give the opportunity to platform the talent and growing confidence of pupils throughout the year. They seek out great Art experiences for their young people. It’s part of the culture of our schools. A chance to shine and for families to be amazed by their own.
I was blessed with a good arts education. At home as a child I was surrounded by music and dancing and our family loved films, we still do. We love a good story, telling them, sharing them and passing them on. My school took us to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra, we sang Christmas carols to the Old Naval Seaman and Officers in the beautiful Dreadnought Seaman’s’ Hospital Church, We met Queen Elizabeth the First at the National Art Gallery, We went to the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank to watch Hiawatha and listened to the Nutcracker. I adored the Sugar plum fairy.
There is a growing amount of concern with Micheal Gove’s Education policies attempting to squeeze Arts in schools. Here is a link to the University of The Arts London Website sharing the views of their Vice Chancellor Nigel Carrington http://alturl.com/2dsk4
I imagine our children without art, music, drama or dance or having very little access to it. Art being a bolt on rather than running right through your education brings me to a standstill. The music stops, we stop discovering, we stop recording who we are and who we could be. The opportunities missed. This can’t happen, it won’t happen because we will always come together and share our stories in whatever way we have been blessed to tell it. The real difference is being heard.
I wish you a Happy Christmas and an exciting creativity throughout the coming New Year.