The final concert in Griffin Hall took place in July with outstanding orchestral ensembles, powerful choirs and a passion
ate dance group taking the stage in front of a full audience of family, friends and past pupils. Pupils showcased a year's worth of hard work and talent in expressive numbers such as 'One Day More' from Senior Choir, a 'James Bond Medley' from Wind Band and a finale of 'The Greatest Showman' from the Combined Orchestra.
Bassaleg's String Orchestra opened the show with 'Levitating' where the players worked harmoniously together under the brilliant Mr Stone's conducting, to create an upbeat performance. Strings also featured a special addition of a pupil's composition. Ella Laughton studying Composition in RNCM next year, was delighted with the opportunity to present her work in this way. In a touching display during Junior Choirs' performance, Year 13 pupils began 'Do Re Mi' before handing the melody over to the younger members of the school to 'pass the musical baton on' and to highlight the upcoming talent in the younger years. The explosive ending to Junior Choir's set was 'We Go Together' which got the whole audience to hand-jive! Big Band closed the first half with a varied setlist, Jake Slater's iconic drum solo in 'Louie Louie' and Mr Newberry's 'Calypso'. Special thanks to Mr Newberry, who is leaving us this year, for his dedication to Big Band, always being a listening ear and all round grooviness. Bethan Dawe, Ella Laughton and Molly Hill of Year 13 played in a lovely flute trio during the interval before Mr Batten presented the raffle prizes to the winners.
Miss Manship's dance group opened the second half with an energetic showcase. Senior Choir presented a programme of emotional, contemporary tunes accompanied by the wonderful Mrs Berry. Although challenging to sing, 'City of Stars', Thinking Out Loud' and 'One Day More' were met with great enthusiasm. A quote from a member of the choir before the performance: 'I am just so excited to sing tonight, I just love it'. After some intense scene changing, Wind Band were ready to produce a brilliant sound and that, they did. A Wind Band classic, 'Risk Everything For a Dream' was particularly moving knowing it was the last time we'd hear it in Griffin Hall. Another spectacular performance running straight into the Combined Orchestra with the impressive finale. 'The Greatest Showman' was certainly great. Huge thankyou to Mr Turner for his consistent hard work and expertise.
Ella Laughton describes her experience: Music at Bassaleg has such a fantastic community and last week’s concert shows it at its best. It's been a privilege to be able to write music and perform it with my friends. Everyone is always so supportive of each other, making an amazing atmosphere. We are so lucky to have such incredible staff from Gwent Music running the ensembles, and Mr Keates and Mrs Davies lead the department wonderfully. Everyone has a home in Bassaleg Music, and I’m truly going to miss it! To anyone thinking about learning an instrument - go for it! You’ll have loads of fun and make great friends. Griffin building has seen so many generations of music making that it’s sad to see it come to an end, but it’s exciting to think of the new era that’s yet to come in the new building.
The concert was described as 'the end of a good era' by a pupil in Year 11 which was definitely acknowledged on the night. Although we are emotional about leaving Griffin Hall and its memories, we are so excited for the new memories that we will create in Adeilad Balch. Another goodbye is to the Year 13s, the younger students including myself will always be grateful for the role model figures, musical guidance and impact you've had on not only the music department but the school itself and we wish you the best of luck for the future. Of course, the concert couldn't have taken place without Mr Keates and Mrs Davies, whose hard work to provide a kind, safe space in the department will never go unnoticed as well as the SLT, staff behind the scenes like the fantastic Ms Jeffreys, PTA and governors who support extra curricular activities and provide the opportunities for students to express themselves on this level.