Today I have for you another school based event. This time it’s my schools Summer Cabaret which took place on 13th July and consisted of various acts from different year groups within the school. There was a real range of acts, from a classic folk band to a song sung entirely in French to piano solos performed to an extremely high standard. All of this created a bubbly and active atmosphere among the audience and the pupils performing. One acted seemed to just bounce off the other no matter what the genre or type of song or how many where performing.
The first act of the night after all the admin and talking done by the head of the music department at Melksham Oak, Mrs Cypher-Neal was the year 12 ensemble. This consisted of Heather, Kat and Tyler and together they sung When We Collide covered by Matt Cardle. This was a loud in your face type of performance that started out the whole show with a passionate burst of coordinated singing and stage presents. Each performer sung their own part and then came together for the chorus to create a powerful and even vaguely emotional act. Each note was hit with experience and sheer talent as they all have many years of performing on stage both with each other and by themselves. It was a fabulous opening and really showed you what the school has to offer as far as talent is concerned.
Next up was a clarinet solo performed by Molly Harrold. She performed Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me by Duke Ellington which you think you don’t know until she starts playing. It was unbelievably jazzy and super smooth in both the way it was performed and the way it sounded. She was unbelievably skilled and this skill at some point was drowned out by the backing track that was used. But saying that this song just made me and the whole audience smile from cheek to cheek!
After Molly it was Chloe Brewer singing Dancing on my Own covered by Calum Scott. This was a very almost tear worthy song as she sung with such emotion and drama in her voice. She sung slowly and with every ounce of passion with her very classy and classic sounding voice. She reminded me of an up and coming indie alternative singer. The type you would find in the charts slowly making their way to the top. A young Marline Martinez in other words.
Following up the beautiful solo was a duet of I Wouldn’t Mind by He Is We performed by Sadie and Chloe. This set was the only one performed sat down on two chairs which I feel gave it a sense of originality and brought it all back down to earth after such a heart filled previous act. The duet worked really well as both their voices at times merged to make one whole epic sounding voice. This combined vocal power really made the audience look at the girls twice. They sung with such a classic alternative vibe that really suited both them and the style of song they chose.
Once the duet had come to its end it brought on the first piano solo of the evening. This solo was performed by Erin Tarrant who played I Giorni by Einaudi. As soon as she started playing you could tell this would be one of the songs that makes everyone in the audience cry. It’s a classic song that you don’t think you know until it starts up and you have a sudden realisation of what it is. She played the piano on a wave of emotions as she played using her magical hands. It didn’t really look like she was pushing the keys down at all at points it was that amazing. The whole performance was effortlessly done and had the whole audience on edge to clap the entire way through which added to the entertainment value of the performance.
Next up to follow the classical it was jazz! Abby and Megan performing a piano only 1950s style version of Dream a Little Dream by Mama Cass Elliot. This entire performance was mesmerising and I honestly prefer this version of the song to the original as it had a lot of character. It was a really short but sweet set that had a variety of twists to it which gave the song its own new style. The way that the piano playing from Megan and the vocals from Abby came together so smoothly and in such a clean cut way made the performance all the more appealing to the audience.
To carry on the evening next up was Josh performing Jar of Hearts by Christian Perri both vocals and piano. This type of performance third only to one person and a guitar and a full band is one of my favourites. One boy and the piano. He performed a preferable version of this song to the original as he was powerful and poignant in the way he played. He did make a couple of mistakes but mistakes only lead to great things so there was no worry there and he made a quick and easy recovery as if nothing happened.
To follow that beautiful piece up was Tyler. He completely changed the mood by singing Love Yourself by Futuristic which is a rapping version of the Justin Bieber song. It came out of nowhere as he dropped and changed between rapping and the singing parts which I found really suited his voice and the way he is as a person. His whole stage presents was also amazing as he threw away the mic stand and changed up the whole setting Josh has previously created. He really got into it and sung it from the heart with every part of his body.
The final act for the first half really changed up the mood in the room again as it was a folk band who did Britches Full of Stitches Polka & Diamond Polka. This trio of performers consisted of Archie on Drums, Alex on violin and Darren on guitar. This whole set, as soon as they started playing, made the audience and me smile a lot. This was not only down to the amazing tunes they were making but also to the staging they did. They created an intense and sudden build up at the start and then stopped to get the audience to clap along instead of the drums. This made the atmosphere seem more community based and emphasised the key reason behind the evening. To showcase young talent, which these boys did by getting the loudest clap of the evening!
After a short 15-minute interval of the buzzing audience mingling with one another the first act of the second half came onto the stage. This act was Kieran and Tyler performing America by Razorlight. This was a song sung deep from the heart. It was really really deeply sung with such effortlessness and an essence of minimalism. All of the high notes on both guitar and vocals where hit perfectly with very slick precision. It was an amazing version of America and equally as good as it was at Project Red.
Next up after the duet was James Wilkins with a piano solo. He performed Elastic Heart by Sia rather than his typical own composition. He played so beautifully and ever so passionately but he did lose rhythm at times which he recovered from really well. James played with such intense and floaty fingers creating such an original and head nodding song that really got to the audience. They really loved it as it was a version that nobody had really heard before and I didn’t really know it could work until he played it with such ease.
Straight up after that beautiful piece it was Harry! I really love harry and the way he sings; he is truly an inspiration to his generation. He sung One Call Away by Charlie Puth and he performed with such a clear, flowing and smooth voice. He hit every high note there was in the song and his tone was so pure and simple. Harry is definitely going on to do great things in the future and I’m sure he will continue performing in the various performances within the school.
To follow up Harry’s amazing performance it was Kathryn and Megan, again. Together they performed It’ll All End in Tears by Andrea Faustini and it was so beautiful. I completely stopped writing and taking photos when they started up. With Megan on piano again and Kathryn singing they created an almost tear jerking atmosphere. Kathryn’s voice really reminded me of Lana Del Ray as she had the same tone of drama and heartbrokenness in her voice. It was so husky and really hit the audience with how beautiful the whole piece was.
Next up was another Kathryn, Kat! She did a solo and performed A Moment Like This by Leona Lewis. I used to really love Leona Lewis so this song was an instant hit in my books. She hit every high note the song threw at her even the really high one towards the end of the sing. Kat was crazily good and passionate in the way she sung and performed. She held every note and sung with a classic tone. It couldn’t have been better in my eyes.
After doing several duets with various singers Megan finally had the stage to herself and performed Life by Einaudi. This was effortless in every way as she played with what looked like magic fingers. She touched every key with little struggle and created such amazing sounds. Megan can play anything you want her to play on piano and this night really showcased her ability to keep her cool and play to a high standard no matter what the song. the key word in this performance, however, was beauty. She was so focused and ever so passionate in the way she played.
After Megan’s solo it was time for more piano and singing but this time covered by one lady. Heather Kerr did her own song, Je Besion Toi and you guessed it, its French! She wrote the whole song that makes sense in French. This for me, is song writing at its best. She hit every note both vocally and on the piano on the head and made it seem like she was using the language of love to show her feelings in an entirely new way. It was such a beautiful song that she sung from her heart and all of the effortlessness she could find. Sheer perfection.
The penultimate singer for the evening was Rachel. This was a complete change again from a French song to a musical based song. She sang Don’t Rain On My Parade covered by the cast of Glee. Rachel threw away the mic stand and walked all over the stage in a kick ass passionate tone. she had amazing stage presents as if she was actually on Broadway. She captivated the audience and made every member smile and the unique twists she gave the song and her performance. She also hit every sang note she sang on the head. There is only one word to describe her performance. Flawless.
For the final act of the evening it was a band called Empirre (its meant to have two r’s). They performed Supermassive Black Hole by Muse and it was pretty darn good. They had amazing stage presents and performed every note and instrument to a T. But there was one small flaw in their performance in which the main guitar’s amp wasn’t turned on. It was a real shame as from the back of the room you couldn’t hear their amazing guitar skills. Other than that it was an amazing alternative version of a classic song.
Once the boys had wrapped up the evening there were presents given out to the various music teachers by Rachel who was leaving. This put a really happy and light-hearted spin to the whole event which ended with everyone cheering!
All images photographed by Charlie.