School Christmas Concerts are my new favourite thing, last week I attended two and loved them both. It is wonderful to see the results of hard work, the anxiety, concentration and relief. Bum notes, squeaks and scrapes are not imperfections, just part of the texture and character.
There was a soulful piano soloist and another whose dazzlingly complicated piece was tackled as if it was an Olympic event judged with a stopwatch. One young man played his own impressive keyboard composition. A composed sixth form boy introduced his guitar solo “this is a beautiful piece, if I play it right”. There were ensembles of guitar, saxophone and clarinet. Friends sang with each other. A girl filled in the drums to an Oasis track sans lyric. You couldn’t get much better than the brass band mixing teachers and students the former trying to drown out some of the less assured charges. There was the pocket size lounge singer belting it out and cued into each verse and chorus by an anxious teacher trying to remain out of sight. Eve sang a solo so wracked with pathos at the end she made me cry. There was an uplifting Gospel Choir with super tight drummer and harmonizing leader, Imagine, Halleluiah, “thank you all for your hard work, thank you for coming, Happy Christmas”.
But that wasn’t all, there was a powerful Christmas Assembly at Saltley Academy with a keynote of hope from the Headteacher and that hope enacted by Muslim students respectfully explaining and celebrating the Christian festival.
To wrap up the week we went carol singing around our neighbours’ houses, a rabble doing their best with good cheer and goodwill to all people.