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On Friday 15th June a group of 75 young students and 5 Staff made the journey to Weston Rhyn near Oswestry for a two-night KS3 Music Residential Course hosted at Quinta Christian Centre. Now in it’s third year, this course (led by our own music staff from S. Peter’s) aims to widen the musical experience of our younger musicians through intense rehearsal and other, non-musical team activities - our students learned collective responsibility through being involved in team sports and ‘Quinta Tasks’ which were completed three times each day as well as ‘fatigues’ whereby we took it in turns to clear, wash, set for each mealtime. An impromptu Cabaret on the Saturday evening gave us the opportunity to relax, yet some brave students felt inclined to give us further excellent solo performances of singing, guitar playing and even street dance. On Sunday morning the focus turned to the afternoon concert we were to stage in the Sports Hall. After breakfast, Training Band, Unity Choir and Irish Band rehearsed together in the hall, taking it in turns to perform to each other and to plan the order of the programme. This also gave us chance to plan movement between groups, as many of our talented musicians are involved in more than one of the ensembles. This year is the first year we have attempted to combine some of our younger groups - a number of items for the afternoon concert involved completely new combinations of instruments; Unity Choir with Strings, Training Band and Irish Band together and even a brand new Bassoon Quartet! After a barbeque lunch and team photograph we set for the afternoon concert and parents began to arrive. And arrive they did – we ran out of chairs very quickly and there was standing room only at the back. The concert went without a single glitch; student musicians moved between ensembles quickly and without fuss, announcements were kept short and we managed to perform to a very high standard every piece we had rehearsed, including the very new pieces that our musicians had seen for the first time on Friday or even Saturday evening. (the Gotye song ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’, Irish Band’s ‘Leaving of Liverpool’ the Bassoon Quartet playing ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ and the combined Training Band / Irish Band item ‘It’s Getting Better’ being highlights for some) There was a sense of achievement, pride but also relief in the hall after the final number that our performance had gone so well. With everyone’s help we managed to get the heavier equipment packed away into the van quite quickly and one by one our musicians disappeared off home with their parents to reflect on their very busy, full and fun weekend residential. Music Department would like to thank Mrs Blackwell from School Reception, Miss Ridgway from English Department and Mr Manning (former student and Music Graduate of Cardiff University) for their untiring help during the weekend, Quinta Staff for hosting us in 2012, Hazel Hall catering for feeding us and parents for their support in allowing students to attend the weekend, for supporting them in their home practice and of course for attending the concert on the Sunday afternoon. Planning for Quinta 2013 is already underway.

Quinta Report