First win for boys’ house since 2006 - Hurstpierpoint College

First win for boys’ house since 2006

Woodard claim victory in House Music Competition

House Music, one of the most special events in the Hurst calendar, took place on the evening before the half term break. Every student in the Senior School actively participates and they also form the audience when they are not performing. The atmosphere is very special one and there is always a tangible sense of support, encouragement and appreciation.  

Going first in this competition is never easy and Woodard’s ensemble provided a rousing and extremely high-quality start with their performance of Don’t Look Back in Anger. This ensemble was tight and their playing and singing was polished and very impressive. The whole house singing Only You by Yazoo followed and their harmonies, moves and instrumental backing was well-rehearsed and the audience loved it. It was so great to see such a palpable sense of community from the outset.  

Phoenix followed with a memorable performance of Hold On by Wilson Phillips and their house song, I Will Survive had bags of energy, enthusiasm and moves which very much fitted with the style. This was house singing at its finest and they should be proud of their blended sound and confident, imaginative harmony. Wolf were next and in their ensemble performance there was some confident playing and singing alongside some lovely harmonies. In their house song, Break my Stride, there was strong musicality and movement.

Shield has always been one to watch in this competition and their performance of Like I’m Gonna Lose You was well sung and set the scene for the house song, Eyes Shut by Years and Years, in which the girls performed with considerable confidence and aplomb. Red Cross has a long tradition of turning out excellent ensemble performances and this year was no exception with their rendition of Neon by John Mayer played and sung with considerable professionalism. Neon was followed by the house song Escape by Rupert Holmes (otherwise known as the Pina Colada Song) in which there was a very convincing sense of energy and commitment from all performers.  

Star’s ensemble, Holiday by Green Day, had an excellent sense of conviction and went down very well with the audience. Their house song, I’m a Believer, was a robust realisation with some well performed moves. Eagle’s ensemble performance of Where’s the Love was very stylish and their singing of I Want it That Way was in tune and had some good movement to enhance its impact.

Martlet’s ensemble was an inventive arrangement of Your Love Keeps Lifting Me in which the harmony was very strong and the voices well balanced. Their house song, I’m Still Standing was exceptional and had some tremendous harmonies and polished movement. Chevron’s performance of Stand by Me was very good indeed with some tremendous singing and playing. Their house song, Set on You, didn’t disappoint either with an impressive sound and some moves that were imaginative.

Fleur’s performance of Ocean Eyes was spine tingling and the atmosphere created was excellent. Their house song, Royals, was most enjoyable and there was a good deal of enthusiasm visible on all the girls’ faces and evident in their moves. Pelican’s ensemble performance of Read All About was very polished and there was a real sense of awareness of ensemble. In their house song, Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere, there was an innate sense of musicality and homogeneity and the singing was refined and very strong indeed.

Crescent’s ensemble by the Arctic Monkeys had a real sense of fluency alongside excellent tuning and technique from all involved. Their house song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson was an interesting choice but brought the whole event to an excellent climax.

Adjudicating events like this is very tricky and we were lucky to have Alex Mason, in his first term as Director of Music at Lancing College, join us for the evening. He was impressed, not only by the music, but also by the palpable sense of community that was on display throughout the evening.  

Woodard were extremely deserving winners and were the first boys’ house to win this competition since 2006 – no mean feat! Across the board, the standard of performances – both ensemble and whole-house – was high and this really was a most enjoyable evening made all the more special in that, for the third year, parents could watch at home through a live internet stream, this time commentated on expertly by Messrs Agate and Chadwell.

Neil Matthews, Director of Music