First school concert: Loud ‘n’ Proud

My son really has hit the ground running at his new grammar school. They don’t give kids time to ease in, they believe in throwing everything at them from the start. And so, just three weeks after starting at the school, he took part in his first school concert – compulsory for all year 7s.

It’s not just a concert, but a competition between the four houses. All of the houses have a girls’ choir, boys’ choir, orchestra and jazz band. Remarkably, all of the musical arrangements and organisation is done by students. It’s a brilliant way to get the year 7s firmly integrated into their house and to get to know older students. It’s also really flipping knackering – with lunchtime rehearsals and then two very long, very tiring performance days (my son got home from school at 10 past 11 after the second performance!).

All year 7s took part in their house girls’ or boys’ choir and some also played their instruments in either the orchestra or the jazz band. You might think that it would only be year 7s in the choirs and only girls in the orchestra and jazz band, but that’s not the case! This is grammar school and every day I’m learning that it’s very different from a comprehensive, where to show an interest in music is geeky in the extreme (my eldest plays violin and is one of very few boys who play in the annual concert). There are boys and girls of all ages in all of the ensembles.

The concert started with a girls’ choir, which was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. They sang beautifully together, blended a medley of tracks together perfectly and had some stunning solos. The jazz bands and orchestras were skilled. The boys’ choirs tended to be slightly more entertaining and slightly less polished than the girls’ choirs – blending broken and unbroken voices together can’t be easy, but I loved watching them!

My son’s house were up last. Finally, they strode on. There was my son, right at the front and, thankfully, visible from my position at the very back of the hall (I haven’t sussed the secret of when to leave home to bag a decent seat/ parking space, but I still haven’t sussed it for the primary school we’ve been at for 10 years!). He looked serious. He was concentrating hard and watching the teenage conductor, just as he’d been told to do. I felt so proud of him. Somehow he looked simultaneously big small – smart and grown up in his new blazer, but so young compared to the big boys. It was such a proud moment. And there was still more to come.

The orchestra came on and then it was time for my son to play his guitar in the jazz band. But where was he? Did he slip on unnoticed? Was he in the corner with the other guitarists? I couldn’t see for sure. But somehow I thought he wasn’t there. I worried. Where was he? Was he OK?

He’d missed it. They had never had a full run-through, taking in the transitions between the acts. He’d got lost, overwhelmed and confused and had missed his jazz band performance. He felt understandably upset and so did we.

Starting secondary school has been a huge thing for him and all the year 7s and sometimes they slip up – they get lost, they forget something, they bring the wrong kit, sometimes they even forget to eat.

He managed to perform with the jazz band the next day. Sadly, we weren’t there to see it, but he came home buzzing.

He was so proud of his first concert and so were we.

Guitar, Son, School concert, 365

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Next week Loud ‘n’ Proud will be hosted by Mama Owl.


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Well done to your son for taking part in his first school concert – that’s a huge thing to organise and achieve in just three weeks! Such a shame that he missed playing in the jazz band – so easy to get confused though when you haven’t had that full run-through and practised the transitions. So glad that he was there for the second night though even though you weren’t able to see him perform. Sounds like he is getting on really well at his grammar school 🙂 #loudnproud

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    • Thanks very much, he is doing really well! It was a shame he missed out on playing his guitar, but it’s all part of learning and I’m pleased he didn’t make the same mistake twice (even though I didn’t get to see him!).

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  2. I played in a band too and it was a great experience one I would definitely recommend as you get to make friends, grow in confidence and learn to work as a team! Well done and as you said everyone has little mistakes, they help us learn. I hope your son continues to enjoy this new experience! #loudnproud

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    • Thanks very much. He’s gaining so much from his new school and I hope he continues to play his guitar because it seems such a positive experience. And I’m sure he won’t miss a performance again!

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  3. Awww a a huge well done to him, it sounds like is quite a huge production with intense rehearsals and it sounds like he’s done so well. It’s all go at his school isn’t it? We feel like we’re still settling in with it only being 4 weeks so far. He definitely musr have loved it if he came home buzzing 🙂

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    • It really is all go! He loves stuff like that, even if it can be a bit stressful at times. It’s understandable that they would ease 4yos in a bit more slowly than 11yos, although most schools ease 11yos in more slowly too!

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  4. Huge well done to your son, that’s an amazing thing to do after only three weeks. I’m sorry that he didn’t manage to play his guitar the first time round, it must all have been quite overwhelming, but glad to hear that it went well the next night and that he came home in such a good mood x

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    • Thanks very much! It was quite overwhelming, it’s a lot to take on when you hardly even know you’re way round the school! But it’s great to get involved so early on 🙂

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  5. Ah he must have been in bits, as were you. Poor thing. So much to work out and remember and still new to the school. My daughter is definitely in the minority, still playing her flute and piano. I am so proud that she hasn’t given up and has continued despite the geeky label. Seems ridiculous really.

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    • It is ridiculous! Well done to your daughter for sticking with it. My poor son – it really is a lot to take on so quickly, but hopefully he won’t miss any performances again!

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  6. I hadn’t realised that they had to take part in the concert, but I guess it’s a way of making sure the year 7s are intergrated into the school.

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    • It’s a really good way of integrating them – and the vast majority will continue to take part in the future. It’s a great idea, but quite a lot to be dealing with only three weeks after joining the school!

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