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A Very, Merry Christmas from the Performing Arts

A festive cracker has been provided during the last half term by our outstanding Performing Arts team. Starting with the fantastic Annie production in which Drama, Dance and Music combined to tell the story of the 11 year old orphan girl as she tries to find her parents and ends up being adopted by a billionaire.  This is a quintessential Christmas tale with a happy ending which was told with brilliant acting, dance and music by a wonderful cast of students.  Everyone from soloist to chorus was superb, fully in character and giving everything to allow the audience to escape the real world into the 1930s American world.  Whilst I admit to being highly biased, I remain totally in awe at how our students perform and our staff direct – they are so willing to take risks, work well beyond the norm for students and staff in a school and I am immensely proud of the fact that they create such a professional performance so much more than any normal school play.  Working so closely with the Performing Arts team I know that the staff leading this production were so excited by the student cast and by the work on show.  Christmas was off with a bang (literally on two occasions) and we were reminded of the dangers of Christmas drink by Miss Hannigan, whilst looking optimistically to Tomorrow as we empathised with the wonderful trio of Annie’s.  It is impossible to mention everyone in a web news article and I know the cast, staff, band and support team have been thanked and received many accolades elsewhere – they were all simply awesome!

Most departments would have thought that was enough for a term, but not at South Dartmoor. Christmas is such a busy time and the Music Department have followed the production with Late Night Shopping in Ashburton (Folk); Carols on Tour in Exeter, St. Catherine’s, Blackpool; and the wonderful Carol Service.  These were all wonderful occasions and enjoyed by many people both performers and audience.  We are always asked which music school we are in Exeter and proudly answer that we are South Dartmoor Community College.  After the Carol Service, Louise Blondell, Languages Teacher, sent a lovely email:

What a beautiful Carol Service last night. Such incredible talent from you and the students, so amazing what you manage to produce…it was simply stunning.  You are an incredible bunch of people.

I can only echo this and add how lucky I am to have such a strong area of the school to support as Curriculum Leader and work alongside as a Music Teacher. When you add numerous dance, drama and music exams, the Autumn Concert as well the Schools Shakespeare production, the arts at South Dartmoor go from strength to strength – and long may it continue.

Merry Christmas to you all – have a wonderful 2017!

 

Ralph Wickenden

Assistant Principal, Curriculum