During the Christmas term, our P7 pupils worked hard to prepare for their part in the James Gillespie’s High School Christmas Concert, which took place on Thursday 17th December at the Usher Hall.
This collaboration between JGHS and the cluster primaries has become something of a tradition in recent years, and it is one which we were delighted to continue this year.
The hard work started way back in October when pupils from all six cluster primaries (James Gillespie’s, Sciennes, Tollcross, Royal Mile, Taobh na Pairce and ourselves) visited the new high school building to meet music teachers Mrs O’Brien and Mr Dearsley and be introduced to the material which would be performed during the concert.
The performance included a medley of songs from the musical ‘Into the Wood’ and a rendition of popular festive hit ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. Pupils also participated in the grand finale item, ‘Carol of the Bells’, which featured singers from P7 all the way up to S6, plus the school orchestra.
Pupils then rehearsed within their own schools, before returning for a joint rehearsal in early December which included the S1 choir and all six primaries.
On the day itself, we attended the Usher Hall in the morning for a full rehearsal. This was the first time some of our pupils had been inside this wonderful venue and the excitement began to build as we took our place on the famous old stage.
Undaunted by this experience, every one of our P7s (barring three who were ill / on holiday) returned in the evening to play their part in a fantastic concert. It was great to see almost all of our pupils enjoying this opportunity to achieve.
Although there were a number of highly impressive items on the programme, the general consensus was that the P7/S1 collaboration was a particular highlight of the evening. The quality of singing, and the harmonies created between the S1 choir and their P7 counterparts, were testament to the hard work put in by the pupils themselves and also the music staff at James Gillespie’s.
Events such as the Christmas Concert are an excellent way of introducing our pupils to high school life in a meaningful context, and building confidence before their transition from primary to secondary – whether they are attending Gillespie’s itself or another high school.
We hope that our pupils enjoyed participating in such an exciting and high profile event, and we are sure that for many of them, it is just the start in a long line of wider achievements during their high school career.
Thanks to everyone who made this event possible – particularly the pupils themselves, who were a credit to Preston Street; their parents, who supported the event and ensured we had such an excellent attendance on the night; and Mrs O’Brien, Mr Dearsley and Miss Shields from James Gillespie’s HS, who put in a great effort to make the concert such a success.