On Tuesday 4 October, 23 boys from Years 5 and 6 participated in a Music Festival at Epsom College. The day’s theme was jazz and gospel music and the children were introduced to different ways these styles of music can be performed throughout the festival.
Once all 220 pupils from other schools had arrived, we warmed up our bodies and voices to prepare us for a day of singing. We wasted no time and began singing our first song, ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’. The song incorporated a swing sound to emphasize the jazz feel in a gospel song. We learned the song ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got that Swing)’ and had fun learning about scat singing, a popular feature in jazz music.
Three of the songs we sung during the Music Festival are typically not sung in the jazz or gospel style, but we were lucky to be accompanied by a talented piano player who was able to change the style of the music to match the theme for the day. ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ were fun songs to perform with the up-beat piano accompaniment. ‘Friend Like Me’ from Aladdin is a song with many lyrics and our boys smashed them out, annunciating each word. The boys even learned how to perform the trumpet sound to add excitement to the piece of music.
After our lovely lunch, provided by Epsom College, we were treated to performances by the senior school pupils. We listened to two soloists and two groups. It was enjoyable to hear the groups sing acapella (without an accompaniment). Their harmonies were inspirational for our boys.
The day concluded with a performance to parents and staff. It was a fun-filled day of music making, meeting pupils from other schools and experiencing a day spent in a senior school. Thank you, Epsom College, for a fantastic day.