What a way to end the first half of the term – with a concert and the final of the second Rotary Recital Competition! Dr Simon Lindley (Master of the Music at Leeds Minster and friend and teacher at St Peter’s) accompanied the songs several sung in harmony and with superlative clarity of diction and dramatic dynamics.
‘Yanomamo’ is a desperate plea to leave the rain forest alone; ‘I am a Small Part of the World’ appropriately starts with a soloist, joined in by the lovely singing of the rest of the school enacting the quiet power of one small voice strengthened by others working together. ‘We Are The Young’ also sings of the vision of a new world, handed over to the new generation. ‘Non nobis Domine’ dedicates the work of the School and the future to the power of God. Finally children, parents, teachers and visitors all sang the school song (about which we shall be hearing quite a lot soon). ‘You are my brother. You are my friend’ is easy to understand and it is always sung by with the real joy and passion which it means to so many people. St Peter’s has an enviable musical tradition which they rightly treasure.
But the focus of the occasion was the final of The Rotary Recital Awards. In the weeks leading up to today every child in the School, whatever their first language, has learnt a poem and recited it to their peers. From each of the six classes two children were selected to receive awards and now, in the final, in front of a full hall the finalists recited their poems for the two top awards.
This year the names which will go onto the shield in the entrance hall are Xavier Harriott (Keystage 1) who recited ‘Now The Day Is Over’ by Sabine Baring-Gould and Valeria Montejo (Keystage 2) with the amusing apology ‘My Dog Ate My Homework’ by Kenn Nesbitt.
Acting as spokesman for the judges, Chris Walbank congratulated all the entrants, not just the winners. “An enormous amount of energy and effort goes into the recitations; standards of clarity and confidence improve each year!”
President Nick Pinches fulsomely praised the singing and hoped that the children would take with them into adult life the joy of music they had experienced here. Nick presented the awards and certificates to the twelve finalists and cups to the two winners. It was quite clear that the children enjoy learning these poems and the skills of memory work and self-confidence involved will be of great strength to them. It was also wonderful to see the support of so many parents present.
Headteacher, Mrs Liz Holliday, first asked the Rotary Club of Headingley to inaugurate this annual Award in 2012 and we are extremely proud to be allowed to work closely with St Peter’s in many ways. She thanked President Nick for presenting the awards and the judges: Rotarians Colette Crossen, Chris Walbank and Peter Woodhead (former Headteacher), Victoria Dalby (Chair of Governors) and Robina Bolton (strong supporter of the School and donor of the school’s minibus). Also from the Club, Michael O’Donnell, John Hafseth and Monty Reid (School Governor) were among the guests.
14 Feb 2014