Thanks to communications technology, Ballard School pupils, parents, teachers and alumni – including some stellar professional singers – joined together to raise their voices and lift their spirits as part of a virtual choir.
Members of the whole community of the New Milton school were invited to learn one part of Fly to Paradise by Eric Whitacre, choosing from the soprano, alto, tenor or bass parts – then record a video or audio file of themselves performing it.
Former pupils taking part included Jay Harris and James Miller of popular band The Manatees and baritone Huw Montague Rendall, a 2018 graduate of the International Opera Studio Zürich. They were joined by voices from the youngest pupils to grandparents and extended family, prospective pupils to governors and staff – including the headmaster.
All the recordings were brought together to create one performance piece, conceived and produced in-house by music teachers Victoria Gray and Barnaby Prangnell, which has now been shared with everyone in the school.
More than 100 people participated and along with footage of the singers, the production includes pupils dancing and clips of some of the activities children and families have been busy with during lockdown.
Victoria Gray, head of performing arts at Ballard School, said, “We might all be confined to our own homes for now, but we have still been able to share in an experience of making music together which has been truly uplifting and rewarding – not to mention lots of fun.”
Headmaster Andrew McCleave said, “We want to embrace all the possibilities technology offers, to innovate, try new things, to learn and adapt, so that we can maintain the excellence of our pupils’ learning experience, as well as the vitality of our school community. This project was one of the many successful ways we’re doing just that.”
You can find Ballard School community singing Fly to Paradise here: https://vimeo.com/421530310.
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