15th October 2015
Writing: Recording and editing by Max O'Brien (Year 10),, Finlay Carroll (Year 11) and Cameron Robey (Year 10) and Thomas Franks (Year 11)
House Music has always existed as a staple event of the Challoner’s calendar, yet the extensive week-long competition was only really known to the more musical of students. This year saw the revitalisation of the event, both in terms of the ambition of the competition itself and that of the competing musicians, into a spectacular one-night show for students and parents of all tastes.
This year’s event took shape around the theme of Oktoberfest, the annual German beer festival held from mid-September to early October. The hall was transformed to create an authentic atmosphere: long lines of tables were furnished with custom-made beer glasses and programmes for the evening, whilst a bar serving refreshments was set up by the entrance. Attendees were even served sausages and apple strudel during the intervals! The Oktober Musikfest remained through this a house event, and each house was allotted 20 minutes to put on a show, their musical performances tied together with some fantastic compèring from the House Captains. Each programme consisted of an individual performance, a senior performance, a junior group act and the singing of a traditional German drinking song. Houses were marked out of 25, and whilst the majority of the score was measured by each entry's adherence to the brief, they had the potential to gain additional points for good choreography and professionalism.
It was without a doubt an amazing night for all the musicians involved, as everyone seemed to perform to the highest standards. Even so there were some stand-out individual performances: for example from Thomas Strudwick and Zach Yarrow on the piano, Matt Hall on the saxophone, and Thomas Kershaw-Green singing. One particular mention must go to Redford Denson, who performed his version of Coldplay’s Chasing Cars - both singing and playing the guitar, it was truly the act of the night.
The evening concluded with the announcement of the winners, with Thorne taking first place by a clear margin and Pearson and Rayner coming second and third respectively. The points each house obtained from the event have been doubled to match Sports Day as a representation of the enormous time and effort spent on producing such a fantastic performance. A House Music competition of this scale and calibre hasn’t been put on in a long time at Challoner’s, and one may even call it the best the school has ever had. Well done and thanks to everyone involved in the orchestration and delivery of this fantastic show.