Pontefract Music Festival
Tuesday 20th March saw yet another successful trip to Pontefract Music Festival by Shelley Music Centre Intermediate and Senior Strings.
The day started at 12.15pm when we had the first coach pick up at King James' then swiftly on to Kirkburton Middle, Shelley High, and Scissett Middle, and at each pick up point I was met by smiling eager faces armed with instruments, concert clothes, school bags, music, casual clothes, drinks and pockets full of money to be spent at the Haribo factory shop. With 9 Cellos, 17 violins, a harp, 24 students and four members of staff successfully loaded onto the coach, we were off and ready for the day ahead!
Once we arrived at Pontefract there was no time to rest, Jack Hardwick was representing SMC in the 1st session, so a quick tune up and straight into the competition. All of the Senior String players stayed to watch and support, whilst the intermediate Strings, made their way to the Haribo factory for a sweet spending frenzy! Jack played stunningly and was awarded a very respectable Merit result.
Session 2 saw the Senior Players disappear off to the sweet factory in somewhat of a hurry after having seen the treasures that the Intermediates had returned with, whilst the other intermediate solo players stayed to compete in their category's. Matthew Conroy, and Skye Bradley competed in the Grade 4 category and both were placed a fantastic joint second. Francesca Sharpe then competed in the Grade 1 and 2 category and had everyone tapping their feet to a very funky 'Grab the Slippery Toad'
Session 3 started with Helen Haigh playing a very jazzy 'Puttin' on the Ritz', then Stephanie Kavanagh played a very elegant harp solo and Charlotte Armstrong played a very authentic medieval dance, which gained her an amazing first place and our first trophy of the day.
A little break and it was time for the final session. Our very own string quartet, Four, started the evening session and were fabulous and received some very encouraging comments. The Adjudicator awarded them second place, and the members of Four, Katy Ellis, Amy Garlick, James Fearnly and Rachel Mallinson are already on with their program for their next gig and next year's competition. Intermediate strings were on next and they had everyone jigging to Mixing the Malt and surfing to Hawaii-5-O. Their sound filled the hall and their skills spoke for themselves as they were the winners of our second trophy of the day. Finally it was the Senior Strings time to play and there was some brilliant competition. However the Senior Strings played themselves proud, they sat down to play with a positive attitude and once again upped their game. For a group of only 12 players they certainly sounded as if there was at least double that. A certificate of Merit was given but the trophy was unfortunately lost for this year, but that means that everything is to play for next year.
It was lovely to see that a number of parents had made the trip to support our players. At 9.15pm we all trooped back on to the coach, tired, happy and full of Haribo sweets and when asked should we do it again next year, there was a very deafening and resounding YES!
Article by Samantha Wise, Shelley Music Centre