On Tuesday 1st
March, The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts Essex was invited to open the Essex Schools Showchoir competition at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon.
With seven schools participating, the March Showchoir event was the first of its type in Essex and also the first ever to be coordinated by the Essex Rotary Club and Basildon Theatres, and with a strong message of fun performance at the heart of the event, who better to open it than PQA.
Stephen Hawke (Essex Principal) and Nikki Harris (Musical Theatre teacher at PQA Chelmsford and PQA Brentwood) were among invited judges, which also included Martyn Dolton from the local press, Mo Larkin - The Mayor of Basildon and Josh Dubovie (Professional Singer of Eurovision Song Contest fame).
A cross section of PQA performers volunteered for the event, including a mix of Red, Green and Blue Groups from Brentwood singing a 'Halo/Walking on Sunshine mash up' from Glee, Red and Blue Groups from PQA Chelmsford singing 'Who wants to live forever', and PQA Wickford Green Group youngsters singing an Annie number of Its a Hard Knock life.
With visually impressive performances by all of our Academies, and our young Green group from Wickford receiving a standing ovation and teary eyed applause from the Mayor of Basildon, I would like to extend a very proud Well done to all our performers, a big thank you to the supporting parents for their time and travel commitments, and a huge congratulations to Leanne and Nikki (our Musical Theatre teachers) for the excellent choreography, strong student voices and rehearsal time given so freely.
The winning school was decided as St Cleres School in Stanford-le-Hope, who chose a brave medley of Lady Gaga songs. Working extremely well as a team, and visually spectacular in some super costumes, all the judges were in agreement that the storyline, choreography and group singing / harmonies made them deserved winners. To top it all, Danielle Whitfield a PQA Wickford Red Group Student was part of the winning school choir, and will now be performing the piece with her choir, at many schools and events around Essex over the next few months. Well done Danielle
I am also very pleased to inform you all, that I was approached by audience parents, the Mayor and event organizers after the show, who made a point of commenting how professional and well behaved our PQA students were throughout their short time on stage (and in the wings). It was also pointed out to me how close-knit our Academy students were, despite apparently attending different Academies around the county. With congratulatory hugs, big supportive cheers and whistles of well done after each PQA performance, concluding in a very big Auditorium Aaaww when Wickford Green Group finished their number, we are all very proud of them and I am sure all our students will continue to benefit from the on-stage experiences presented to them.
We have since received many new enquiries for Essex student PQA memberships, and I have a full calendar of try sessions booked in for the next month. PQA is certainly the place to be.
Well done to everyone.
Posted on March 18, 2011