House Music is back! - Hurstpierpoint College

House Music is back!

After a three-year break due to COVID-19, the penultimate day of the first half of the Michaelmas term saw the return of the House Music Competition in its traditional format. Taking place in the chapel, this was a chance for the entire senior school to get stuck in and showcase their musical ability. Performing to a packed-out audience was made more enjoyable thanks to the fantastic and supportive atmosphere created by staff and pupils for their peers. The atmosphere is very special one, and there is always a tangible sense of support, encouragement, and appreciation.

This year Eagle House opened the show with their ensemble ‘Tequila’ by the champs. The performance and choreography of shaking and clapping with audience participation was brilliant. The whole house performance was ‘With a Little Help from my friends’ by The Beatles. The dancing enhanced the vocals of the students and it was a fantastic start to the event.

Star followed with a beautiful ensemble of ‘Our Last Summer’ by ABBA. The communication between the three performers was excellent, with lovely build ups and contrasts. Overall a lovely performance. The whole house had clearly well-rehearsed their song ‘Stitches’ by Shaun Mendes well. The students had an impressive sound with good diction of the words throughout and stood out with their great presence and postures.

Woodard sang ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay for their ensemble. The organ introduction was brilliant and the adjudicator loved the outstanding use of falsetto. The whole house started off with their backs to the audience and turned around to start their performance. Woodard had an awesome band introduction and a great song choice of ‘September’ by Earth, Wind and Fire.

Wolf was the first girls house to perform and they set the bar. The ensemble sang ‘The Climb’ by Miley Cyrus. It was great to see the students sharing the singing around the group, great teamwork, and good interaction. The whole house sang ‘Dance with Me Tonight’ by Olly Murs. The house had great energy, made a sterling effort and had impressive choreography.

Chevron sang ‘All Day and All of the Night’ by The Kinks for their ensemble. Very convincing singing and a good band. For their house song the students sang ‘Livin’ on a prayer’ by Bon Jovi. The addition of the student conductor stood out and there was good progression throughout the song.

In my view, you all have performed excellently, and all supported each other brilliantly and I think that is even more important, dare I say it, than the music Mr Neil Matthews, Director of Music

Crescent House started their song off with a history lesson followed by their ensemble of ‘Valerie’ by Mark Ronson ft Amy Winehouse. The band had great energy and the adjudicator loved that there was a tuba player in the band. For their house song, Chevron sang ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oasis. The students had a strong vocal entrance and energy throughout the phrases.

Following Crescent was Phoenix House singing ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele. The pupils had a solid opening vocally, and harmonies flowed. It is also important to mention their amazing acapella when the band stopped. ‘Super Trooper’ by ABBA was the whole house song and what an excellent choice it was; you could hear the acoustics throughout the building.

Fleur followed on with their ensemble of ‘July’ by Noah Cyrus. It was great to see a ukele being played in the band and the pupils had a solid intonation throughout. For the house song the students chose ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler. Their sound projected through the building, and they were effective and convincing in their head and chest voice with a phenomenal technique.

Pelican house had a good start, with lovely harmonies and an amazing sound during their ensemble of ‘Jar of Hearts’ by Christina Perri. The house also did fantastic in their whole house performance when singing ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey.

Shield house, who won the competition, sang ‘Cardigan’ by Jaime Diraz for their ensemble. They were well enunciated, had nice engagement and overall fantastic singing. ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen was their chosen whole house song and it was fabulous. The solo at the beginning was incredible and the adjudicator loved their energy and movements, and felt that their actions helped their singing.

Red Cross, the last boys house to perform, sang ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ by Bill Withers. They had awesome voices and a classy trumpet. Their whole house song was ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ by Pink Floyd. The students had an inspiring commitment to the theatrics throughout their entire performance.

Finally, Martlet house ended the show with their ensemble ‘Four, Five Seconds’ by Rihanna with stylistic singing, talented musicians, and the pure look of enjoyment. The whole house song was ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ by Coldplay. They had a brave start without the band, and had great highs.

Adjudicating events like this is very tricky, and we were lucky to have Mr Tim Carpenter from Ardingly join us for the evening. Tim provided excellent, in-depth analysis alongside his all-important marks. He was also impressed, not only by the music but also the palpable sense of community that was on display throughout the evening. Well done to all students involved.

All of you sang and played so wonderfully Mr Tim Carpenter, adjudicator for the evening

Shield House were extremely deserving winners. Both the ensemble and whole house were fantastic performances. And as Mr Matthews said last year, “Shield has always been one to watch in this competition.”

The competition was also streamed live for parents to watch, with commentary between acts provided by Liam Agate, Will Bradley and Natalie Coogans. Now with more than 2,500 views, this was a highly successful production to match the energetic performances and enthusiastic support in the chapel itself. Overall, the event was a great success, displaying enthusiasm and showmanship from pupils and staff alike. A triumphant return to the proud tradition of the house music competition.

I am so proud of the Shield girls. The L6th, as a team, did a fabulous job motivating and energising the house. The girls had fun along the way which was evident to see in their performance. I don’t think “Don’t Stop Me Now” has ever been performed in such a manner! Carey Jones, Housemistress of Shield