Children shine on stage at the Barbican

On Tuesday 30th June 45 students from across the academy took to one of the world’s most iconic stages in a musical extravaganza to sing for an audience of 2,000 people at London’s Barbican Centre as part of the Ark Music Gala. This was the sixth time that students took part in the Gala since the school opened. The school joined 30 other Ark schools from London, Birmingham, Hastings and Portsmouth, all of which have been working to create inspiring musical pieces for the Gala.

The students were part of a group of over 75o musicians – including a massed choir of 400 voices – who performed a rich variety of repertoire including music from the Tudor era, a Russian folk song and contemporary pop hits like Ella Henderson’s ‘Ghost’.

Sabria and Diletta from Year 7 took part in the Gala.

Diletta said:
“I really enjoyed the Gala and the experience of doing a concert. I’m in the Ignite choir and my favourite part of the Gala was the song we all wrote together. We all came up with words and the message was not to give up on things. It’s a great message to people.”

“I was shy but the teachers encourage you. I’ve learnt that though you might be shy, don’t let other people’s opinions get in your way.”

Sabria said:
 “Last night was amazing. I loved doing some of the older songs. My favourite part was when the primary schools sang ‘Glorious,’ it was really uplifting.”

“The practice is hard. Our teachers push us so that we can shine on that stage. You have to feel the music. Life’s a climb but the view is great when you reach the target.”

Ms Masterson said: ‘The results of a year of hard work and practice have definitely paid off. This has been the best yet! The standard just keeps getting higher each year.”

“We are very proud of our students across the academy from Year 3 to Year 10. They have been great ambassadors for us. We have watched them grow in maturity and confidence as well as musical ability. We are very thankful to be able to provide such a fantastic opportunity to our students.”

Margaret O’Shea, Director of Music at Ark, said: “All those involved in the Music Gala have worked enormously hard over the past weeks and months preparing for the concert.

“One of the great delights of our music programme is to see the personal growth of these remarkable young musicians as they embark on the journey of singing in a choir or learning to master an instrument.

“It is a huge privilege to see our students perform with such confidence and skill on a stage that regularly showcases the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company.”