Virtual Young Singers
Young Singers of the Year 2020
Not even a global pandemic can stop the Expressive Arts Faculty! The show must go on, and it did! We decided fairly early on into lockdown that we should do a virtual version of our Young Singer of the Year, to keep the momentum of the faculty going and to keep spirits up. 24 pupils sent in videos over the course of 3 weeks and they were shared on a YouTube playlist to judges, families, friends and staff.
I want to congratulate all the performers for taking part. We had a wonderful range of songs, styles and voices, from some who I had never heard sing before to others who have taken part in all four previous Young Singer events. Young Singer is always a great opportunity for experienced and non-experienced singers to show off their voices and grow in confidence.
Usually, this event only has the judges deciding on winners. This year, however, we decided to add an Audience Award. Over 100 people voted and Isabel C in Year 8 was the Winner, with Martha D, also in Year 8, very close behind as a Runner Up. Both these performances wowed the audience, strong vocals and excellent performances.
On the evening of Wednesday 29 April 2020, our judges - Miss Lillington, Ms Henson, Mrs Lang and our professional singer guest judge, Matt Kapp - met to discuss the winners. Afterwards, we all met with the singers, plus their families and friends, on a Zoom meeting for the Results Evening. With an audience of 74 people, the following winners were announced:
KS3 Outstanding Performances: Jenny S (Year 7) performed I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady and all the judges were in awe of her charm in this performance. Tim C (Year 8) performed Close Every Door from Joseph, another outstanding performance from this talented young musician and last year’s winner. Sasha J (Year 7) performed an acapella version of Girl on Fire, and wow what a big voice for a Year 7!
KS4 Outstanding Performances: Joanna B (Year 11) sang and acted very powerfully the song Someone Gets Hurt from Mean Girls the musical. Max S (Year 11), who was our winner last year, did yet again another outstanding vocal performance of Like I’m Gonna Lose You. Anna M (Year 11) performed My Heart Will Go On and really impressed judges with this convincing performance.
Key Stage 3 Winner:
Charlotte T (Year 8)
Charlotte performed one of the most difficult and popular musical theatre songs out there at the moment: She Used to be Mine from Waitress. This song for West End and Broadway singers is a challenge but Charlotte took it and demonstrated her control and vocal stamina.
"I really enjoyed Young Singer of the Year. It was interesting to do it virtually. This meant that I could re-do it as many times as I liked until it was perfect. But I cannot wait till next year when it will be back to normal and we can do it again and perform live."
Key Stage 4 Winner:
Jodie S (Year 11)
Jodie's song choice was very different from Charlotte's: Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy. The way Jodie sang this was just beautiful. The control over her voice, as well as telling the story of this song, was very impressive and touched many judges and audience members.
"Never did I think I would win Young Singer and I am still in shock! I wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t have amazing teachers pushing us to do our best, especially Miss Faux for bugging me to do it for so long!"
Comments from our judges: "I loved being a judge at this year’s event. As a professional performer I was so encouraged to see all of the up and coming talent from the young people in this country! All the students who took part should be so proud of themselves and I look forward to seeing where their talent takes them in the future." Matt Kapp
"Another tremendous event offered by the Expressive Arts team and a great example of how the show can go on! It was wonderful to see so many of the pupils involved and watching the entries really brightened my Tuesday evening. I have been inspired to listen to the original versions of the song, listen to my musicals playlist and I also plan on watching the Little Mermaid again! Thank you to everyone that got involved and that took part in the results ceremony on Wednesday to create a lovely atmosphere. A huge thanks to the Expressive Arts team for offering such a great opportunity." Miss Lillington, Associate Assistant Head
Headteacher Chiquita Henson: "I am so impressed with our Expressive Arts Team and their determination to carry on as normal. While it became a virtual event, this year’s Young Singer of the Year Competition unleashed our pupils’ confidence and I remain in awe of their courage in singing to their devices and sharing the joy in their young voices with us all. It was a sheer delight to indulge in their talents, not just once, but several times! Congratulations to them all. Well done!’"
It’s been so strange preparing for a music event without touching an instrument, reading music, or even singing myself. But the pupils adapted well, and I am so pleased with the response and the number of pupils wanting to get involved. It is in some way much harder to perform a song convincingly without a live audience in front of you, but they did it – I am very proud of them all!
Miss Faux, Music Teacher