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Stokesley’s Greatest Show

07 February 2020  |  Darren Smith

Move over Hugh Jackman, the Greatest Show came to Stokesley when over 50 talented students, from Stokesley School and Sixth Form College, took to the stage, exuding energy, passion and delivering high-quality and polished performances.

The School’s ‘Sounds of Summer’ concert featured 17 different groups and soloists, involving students across all the year groups. The audience were taken on a musical journey around the world and through different eras, from Handel to Harry Styles, Freddie Mercury to Mancini this was a truly delightful and exciting show that left the audience enthralled from start to finish.

Every performance was faultless and demonstrated an incredible amount of practice and commitment by the students. There were a number of soloists; vocals, flautists, drummers and guitarists plus ensembles, including strings, steel pans, flautists and vocal groups. Claire Hall, Head of Music directed the concert and the instrumental groups, with Rhianne Kent leading the vocal group. Dave Harris led the ukulele group and also managed sound and lighting.

Lucy Atkinson, Year 10, captivated the audience with Bohemian Rhapsody, making this challenging song her own with her powerful, pitch-perfect vocals and proficient piano playing. Twins, Leah and Josie Chambers-Sims sang spine-tingling harmonies in Sign of the Times, with Jesh Saha’s stunning vocal range and pure tone shining through in his performance of Never Be Enough from the Greatest Showman.

Celia Sims, mother of twins Josie and Leah, said: “This is a bunch of extremely talented students, after a hard day’s work it was an absolute pleasure and tonic to listen to them. From start to finish, they were superb, great-quality performances.”

The Jamboree group played upbeat and contrasting pieces of Mission Impossible and I’ve got the Blues, with the Ukulele Group delighting the audience with the foot-tapping numbers Shotgun and The Lion sleeps tonight. All the students delivered stand-out performances, with the power and strong harmonies of the vocal group resonating throughout the hall, and beyond, as they sang Empire State of Mind and This is Me, from The Greatest Showman.

The flute quartet’s light and precise performance of Dance of the little Swans, from Swan Lake, was a stunning interpretation delivered with immaculate timing. The string quartet, led by Matthew Hutchinson, Year 13, played a beautiful rendition of Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and ended the concert with the very fitting Ashokan Farewell, although nobody was ready to leave.

Claire Hall, Head of Music, commented: “The Summer term concert can be a ‘bitter sweet’ occasion as our senior players move on after their involvement in the department over a number of years, but it is a pleasure to see the younger performers gaining in confidence and ability and being able to present and eclectic mix of music to be shared with a supportive audience. ”

Revd Paul Hutchinson, Chair of Governors, concluded: “It is one of the highlights of the term to come to the school concert, and to see how pupils are growing in confidence and experience. My children have both benefited from Miss Hall’s enthusiastic leadership of instrumental groups over the nine years that I’ve been involved – and, as a singer myself, it is especially pleasing to see the growing passion for musical theatre shown by many of the younger students under Mrs Kent’s direction. I’m looking forward to their drama production later in the term too.”’

There are more opportunities to see and hear the talented students at Stokesley School, with their musical showcase evening on Thursday 23rd May at Stokesley Parish Church. This will be followed by the School’s not-to-be-missed production of High School Musical on 16th and 17th July.

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