Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows BTEC Music Classes play for the Poetry Slam at City of Leeds School, and it's still my birthday

Well, it's still my birthday, and Jane's been giving me a hard time about celebrating it. She's waved a gift bag at me in a sort of cross between theatening and a promise. Okay, I have agreed to "do" the happy birthday thing at lunctime.

But worse, I am so hyper about how well we played, were received and danced to [no greater honour], at the Grand Opening at the Clarendon Wing that I decide to go home and bake buns for my colleagues. So now it's load the van, hand over all my strawberries to Maya, and go home to make 20 small buns. Obviously they are still hot when I jump into car and zoom [never above 30mph of
course] up to West Park, but I make it in time, ice them, and settle down to be serenaded by Diane, Jane, Aretha, Jo, Ray, Joanna, Helen, Rosie.
I just get to City of Leeds School in time to whip through Price Tag with Rukhea and co, which they had taught themselves it anyway without me, and collapse in small heap in Music Office.
. . . and onto the next gig, which luckily in just down the corridor in City's Drama studio. This time there's only five Sparrows: Ashley H, Georgia, Evie, Claudia and Antonio, and it's Antonio's first time being the drummer. After a rocky start we invite the BTEC Music class who seem to be most of the poets to join us, and agree on the tunes that they know in common.
As it happens this Year 11 class [from City of Leeds] presented their final BTEC performance, only two days before [and in the same studio]. I had been helping them with the steel pan tunes, but I hadn't expected all the rest! Such stage presence and confidence, and pieces thought through, and then they were there when we needed them. And, as in real life, loading up and packing away at the end of the gig.
And, bless us all. It translated into a real life gig! Yo. Organisers of the Slam at this venue were Liz and Cath, artists were Michelle, Stella and judges were Amanda, Becky and Rob.
The poetry was wonderful. And it was a wonderful vehicle for school students to tell us like it really is. As one of the comperes pointed out, how can our students learn with all this inside.
I have always believed that education should be about the individual student, about their needs their hopes and their fears. There's stuff that should be let out before any stuff is put in. In my opinion. Not just mine. And this poetry festival is perfect for that. Here's a pic of Stella and Michelle doing a turn themselves.

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