Harrow Way Community School recently brought together over 150 primary school children to celebrate African music at the ‘Big Sing.’ Sporting colours from the South African flag, pupils from Portway, Roman Way and Appleshaw schools performed a medley of songs, some of which were sung in Zula and Ndebele.
Performing the well-known African pieces Shosholoza, Thuma Mina and Siyahamba along with the Lion King’s Circle of Life was a new experience for the primary children. A number of highlights included the contrasts the students produced in dynamic, harmony and texture as each school tackled different parts. Stuart Pollard, Curriculum Leader for Music at Harrow Way explains: ‘Thuma Mina’ (meaning, ‘send me lord’) which was most beautiful with Roman Way responsible for the ‘call’, Portway – providing the ‘responsive phases’, while Appleshaw sang a descant over the top. This contrasted nicely with the final piece, ‘Siyahamba’ which really demonstrated the dynamic that 155 voices can produce.”
In preparing the students for their African singing adventure Mr Pollard visited the three schools over a number of weeks to rehearse with the children. Acknowledging the challenge they undertook he said: “This was the first time students from all three schools performed together and although we’ve spent some time rehearsing it was a big ask to perform four pieces in total, some of which were in a foreign language. They were all incredible and I’m sure the parents who got to see the show were also equally impressed.”
For further information on Harrow Way Community School, please call 01264 364533 or visit www.harroway.hants.sch.uk. Visits to the school by appointment are always welcome.