The changing seasons during the Michaelmas term provide a wealth of musical opportunities and form the basis of so much of our repertoire.  We shared our Harvest celebrations with a huge audience of grandparents who listened to the children’s performances of ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’, ‘Sing of the Lord’s Goodness’, The Parable of the Sower’ and ‘Harvest Samba’.  The handbell ringers gave a stylish performance of ‘Come ye Thankful People Come’ and we all sang ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’.  Since then, the Seniors have studied the development of the symphony orchestra and have focused in particular on Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies and how ‘conflict’ , both inner and external and in keeping with the Year 7 theme for this term, is represented in his music.

This term’s tea-time concert was slightly later than usual, but having the extra time allowed the performers  to perfect their repertoire and for us to hear Joe P, Mary KB and Leo A on their return from ‘Battle of the Bands’ at Sevenoaks School.  These informal concerts are crucial in helping the children understand how to prepare for a performance and develop self confidence.  These are  joyous occasions, where all the year groups share their music and inspire one another.

We have welcomed the lovely Mrs Fulford to the music department and she has inspired the Juniors and Pre-Prep children with her energy, endless kindness and encouragement.  The Pre-Prep Nativity, ‘A Special Kind of Present’, produced many highlights and reminded us all of the true meaning of Christmas.  Although the performances have now drawn to a close, many of the songs are still being enjoyed as the children  march back from lunch singing ‘The Lollipop Brigade’.  The Years 3, 4 and 5 have had lots of fun trying various instruments and exploring how each produces its distinctive sound.  For those pupils trying brass instruments, raspberry sounds are the first essential skill.

Excitement is building for the carol service on Saturday!  For so many of us, this traditional service marks the start of Christmas and brings the entire Vinehall community together at Salehurst Parish Church.  The school Chamber Choir has already performed a selection from the repertoire under the Rose Window at the Conquest Hospital and we hope you will enjoy further contributions from the Senior and Junior Choirs at Saturday’s service.  I am immensely grateful for all the help and support that goes towards making the carol service such a memorable event, especially from the parents who decorate the Church.  Following the carol service, various members of the Chamber Choir will sing for the residents of Queen Mary’s Nursing Home, an essential part of our work in the wider community which reinforces the Vinehall code of conduct – ‘Pro allis optimum agere.’

Sue Glossop