It is a sad reflection of our times that not only did some schools not allow their students out to play this wonderful CLYM [City of Leeds Youth Music concert] concert at Leeds Town Hall, but actually some students made that decision for themselves. Not so much Sparrows, but orchestra and everyone.
So, just as a reminder I am going to mention here the research from Edinburgh University in 1994 which compared two groups of children. One group had four English lessons a week for a year; the second group had three English and one Music; testing them for English at the end of the year they found that the group that had four English lessons scored less well in English than the other group.
I might also mention that all the Sparrows who took GCSEs last year got average A-A*. Not that should matter. Question is: is it the bright and academic who join this band, or does the hard work of playing pans to these standards raise their academic standards? I hope we also include the bright/musical and non-academic.
Plus, if there was an exam for teamwork, and raised self-esteem and confidence, they would be all showered in A*s!
And so I was a bit nervous when some of the most experienced players couldn't attend the Prom. Debs, I need not have worried. Millie C took on tune after tune on her own; Claudia stepped into the big basses [and guitar pans] and pushed the beat along; Millie C also wrote out every single note of the flute line to ensure accuracy for the Pirates of the Caribbean - that is all 211 bars! Georgia E and Naomi were rock solid on chords, Chloe bounced from chords to melody to bass with style, and newcomers: Ashley and Stephen tried their absolute best, miming the bits they didn't know. Only people to go wrong were me losing my way on Under the Sea chords; and Bart trying to sneak some extra fills into the drumming!
We played as the primary school [and Guiseley] children took their places in the Town Hall, then our set and then the joint number. Tunes included Is Heat, Under the Boardwalk, I Could Have Danced, The Flood, Under the Sea, Clocks and the Pirates.
Chloe and Millie C organised all the loading, setting up and down, packed the van entirely themselves. What a great great team! What great great playing! [And not to forget Bart and I spent about fifteen man and woman-power hours writing out the Pirates in Foxwood Songsheet form, and Bex and Gig also packed in the extra time on rehearsals].
Leeds schools [and parents] who let their students take the opportunity were Allerton Grange, Allerton High, City of Leeds, Lawnswood, Notre Dame and St Mary's Menston.
Too busy playing to take pics during concert. Here's some rehearsal and loading pics.