The Battle of the Bands was a new initiative that saw two Focus schools come together. The SENCOs at the Newtown and Swansea Campuses decided that our Gifted and Talented pupils should explore and develop their musical talents. After many discussions between the SENCOs and the Music teachers, the idea was born!
Pupils from years 6-13 were chosen and put into groups prior to the event. The groups consisted of a mixture of pupils from both schools of differing ages, abilities and instruments. This provided many challenges on the day as the majority of pupils did not know each other and had not worked together before.
After an early start and a trouble-free journey, we arrived at the Newtown Campus to be greeted by staff, pupils and community members. Hospitality, as always, was fantastic – bacon rolls and a drink to start the day! Pupils were set their task – to take a well-known piece and arrange it using the resources available to them. It must be recognisable but sound different to the original and must be pleasant to listen to. Pupils were also judged on how well they worked as a team and the processes they used in order to achieve their aims. The choices of music were Mamma Mia, Calon Lân, Hen Ferchetan, Money, Money, Money, Scarborough Fair and Migldi Magldi.
Two of the bands chose Mamma Mia and the third chose Calon Lân. They worked on their chosen piece during the morning session, had a break for lunch and then had a short time for the final rehearsal before performing it to parents and the other pupils. There were three fantastic performances which made the judging challenging. How do you choose from three excellent bands? It was so hard to pick a winner. Any one of the bands could have won on the grounds of their performance and talent alone. However, there was a very specific success criteria and the band who scored highest in each area and kept closest to it would be chosen. Mamma Mia, Swing style won! It was very effective. The members of the winning band each received a digital metronome and the runners up received a mug with ‘Battle of the Bands 2015’ printed on it.
We really hope that this will be the first of many Battle of the Bands days and would hope to return Newtown’s welcome and hospitality next year, here at Swansea. Finally, I must say congratulations to everyone who took part and a big thank you to Mr and Mrs Swanson and Mr and Mrs Doling for driving the buses and supporting us throughout the day.