Unable to perform to public audiences since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the students showed few nerves as they climbed back onto the stage for the first time to show off their singing, acting and musical talents to an audience of parents, friends and family.
The size of the audience was restricted to ensure everyone’s safety and covid measures remained in place with the hall being well ventilated.
The ‘Winter Showcase’ set the bar high when it began with a mesmerising aerial spiral routine by Grace McDowall.
Grace has been doing aerial performance since the age of eight and recently won the UK Aerial Championships in the instructor silks category.
Next came The Swirls, who gave a rousing performance of ‘Chasing Cars’ and ‘Highway To Hell,’ which lit up the room and had the audience cheering them on. The Swirls are all musicians in Years seven to 11.
It was followed by an accomplished theatrical performance from Kayden Fox, who delivered a short extract from ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
The French Choir gave a beautiful rendition of ‘You Are The Reason’ by Callum Scott and Aleezay. Music student Naomi Hoyles then delivered a strong vocal performance with a haunting version of ‘Hallelujah’.
Year seven student Kian Marsh confidently read his winning poem from the English Inter-House Poetry competition, entitled ‘A Poem About Us And The Universe.’
The academy’s talented piano scholarship student Charlotte Capindale played ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding before the first act closed with the dance club’s performance to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas.’
The dancers tumbled confidently across the stage in striking shimmery skirts.
The second act kicked off with dancers Poppy Green and Ella Hudson, who performed to Adele’s ‘Easy On Me’ having choreographed the dance themselves. It was followed by Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by skilled pianist Lillie Gregory.
Lillie then accompanied The Somercotes Singers who brought back the festive sound with ‘When Christmas Comes To Town.’
This was followed by a change of pace as Ella Gray and Leonie Willett performed ‘Blood Brothers, Act Two, Scene Two.’ The short extract will contribute to their Performing Arts BTec.
Meeting once a week to develop their singing skills, Treble Makers took to the stage next with their version of ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper. Pianist Grace Raby then performed ‘Salut D’amour’.
Christmas would not be complete without ‘Walking In The Air,’ which was delivered beautifully by flute soloist Penelope Shaw, who has also recently taken her Grade Three flute exam and Grade Two piano.
The concert closed with ‘Vive Le Vent’ sung by the French Choir and performed with French sign language. They were accompanied by the KS3 Ukulele Club.
Comperes for the show were students Amelia Donner, Aiden Finch, Harry Jacklin and Gabrielle Jeffrey.
Ellen Barlow, the show’s organiser and curriculum leader for music at the academy, said: “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in the show.
“I am incredibly proud of you all and how hard you have worked in the last few weeks in the lead up to this showcase. Thank you also to all of the parents who have supported us.”
Academy principal Frances Green said: “It is fantastic to see the students performing again. It is a really big thing for them climbing back onto the stage to perform to people after such a long break and I am so proud of them all.
“I must say a massive thank you to all staff and students who helped to put the showcase together.”
“It has been a real community effort. We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.”