ARK Schools Music Gala

Thursday 24 July 2014

On Monday 7th July, 31 ARK All Saints Academy scholars performed a rendition of Skyfall at the Barbican for over 2000 invited guests, as part of the ARK Schools Music Gala.

Preparation for this event began in January with 31 All Saints scholars attending regular weekly rehearsals. The song, chosen by Miss Atalar, was agreed with scholars and work began to prepare the well-known theme song “Skyfall” written by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth. After many after-school rehearsals, the scholars eventually took part in a Saturday rehearsal on 14th June, co-led by Miss Atalar and Bryan Welton (Director of Music at ARK schools). The Saturday rehearsal was a huge success, particularly as the scholars were joined for the first time by their Walworth accompanists to have a final run through before the day drew to a close.

This then led to two performances, one at ARK All Saints Academy and one at Walworth Academy’s Summer Concert. The All Saints performance took place as part of a musical showcase within the school on Wednesday 18th June. The choir then went on to perform at Walworth Academy’s Summer concert to an audience of around 100 people on 26th June 2014. Both performances were fantastic and were an excellent warm-up before the main event.

Finally July 7th came around and it was off to the Barbican at Midday for a technical rehearsal slot and then a quick rehearsal with the huge massed choir, made up of all other performing pupils from other ARK schools. The technical rehearsal went without a hitch and six of our scholars were chosen to be flag bearers for the opening procession. All Saints were lucky enough to have (arguably) the best costumes of the evening, tuxedo T-shirts in the style of James Bond, which looked fantastic up on the huge Barbican stage.

Throughout the day, the scholars did themselves proud, behaving beautifully and showing enthusiastic support to other academies who were also performing on the day. At 7pm the show began and after a long and nervous wait, All Saints were finally called to perform at around 8:30pm (the closing act!). The scholars performed like professional musicians, following Miss Atalar’s cues eagerly and singing their hearts out. Special mention must go to Paris Allen who sang the closing solo so beautifully that it moved members of the audience to tears. The performance ended to a huge round of applause and the scholars took a well-deserved bow.

The All Saints scholars then joined all of the other students from various ARK schools for a final massed-choir number “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The All Saints pupils had learnt the choreography to this item just hours before but, ever the professionals, they executed the moves brilliantly.

The whole occasion was fantastic and the scholars all commented on how incredible it was to have been part of such an auspicious event. It was a wonderful way to make our musical debut as one of the newest ARK schools and the Music Department is extremely grateful to Bryan Welton, Jennifer Raven, staff at Walworth Academy and the parents of all of the All Saints scholars for making such an outstanding performance possible. Here’s looking to next year!