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Songs about Us – Glyndebourne Tour at the Brighton Dome Studio.

Posted: 15th October 2014 | Category: Year 4, Year 5

Last Tuesday morning, members of Years 4 and 5 piled into the school minibuses and set off for Brighton.  Three members of the Glyndebourne touring team were going to entertain us with ‘Songs about Us’.  Having secured front row seats, we settled quickly to be entertained.  Dominic Harlan came on stage and, using mime, encouraged us to copy some fairly elaborate hand movements, before leading us through an explanation of the first song.  As most of the songs were sung in German or, indeed Swedish, we were somewhat relieved that we were not called upon to sing too!  The songs ranged from dramatic tales of two soldiers returning from war to a whimsical song called ‘Was it a Dream?’

On several occasions later, the children were encouraged to take part in the songs, by singing composing melodies for stanzas of a song or helping to direct.  This gave them plenty of opportunities to understand how they could influence the performance and understand that this is usually a collaborative exercise.

The two singers, Paul Carey Jones and Sarah Gabriel also interacted with the children to bring the songs alive for us and returned to the auditorium at the end of the performance to talk to the children.

We had come prepared to picnic on Brighton beach and gusting winds whipping the waves were not going to deter us.  To his credit, Cole tried valiantly to catch his empty sandwich bag which was ripped out of his hands but, his 100 metre dash along the beach was not sufficient to claim victory!

Deciding to return through Woodingdean to avoid the City centre traffic was met with only limited success.  As the third mini bus approached Brighton race course, the barriers were raised, grass laid across the road and the horses prepared for starters’ orders.  To the delight of these 8 students, they had an unplanned front-seat view of the 13:50 race.  Certainly a day to remember!

Carolyn Holleyman

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