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People power

Back in October, my school held its annual ‘Autumn Outburst’, a music performance opportunity for people of all years and abilities. It was, in all honesty, the worst show we have ever performed. The 10 audience members were given very little to applaud and appreciate, making the night, as a whole, one of the more uncomfortable moments of all our lives.

And so, a group of us pledged to make sure that this never happened again. We needed people to know that there is an incredible amount of talent in our school and that music really means something to us. That science and maths and languages may well be important, but they just can’t give us what music has. Back in October, whilst rehearsing and performing the college’s production of Annie, we began to plan our “Stage and Screen” night.

At first, let’s just say that we got a little carried away. There was so much we wanted to do and so much that we needed to achieve. Encouraging people to join in was a monumental task in itself, as was then ensuring that everyone was in the right place at the right time for a whole term.

On Monday, there was a lot to worry about. People that just weren’t ready. Rehearsals that hadn’t happened. Things that hadn’t once gone right. And then, on Tuesday, everyone arrived, looking amazing and ready to perform. Everyone worked their backsides off, aced their performances and supported each other so much. The audience, which was full, clapped in all of the right places.

And… I didn’t fall off my stool!

Suddenly, six months worth of work became so unbelievably worth it. It didn’t matter that there were a couple of very minor hitches, or that the summation of our efforts was just two hours. What mattered was that in that moment, a whole room of people were sharing something amazing; years of personal work, pure talent and friendship.

For a long time, there has been a massive lack of respect for artists, for people who don’t choose to pursue the traditional subjects, but there, on Tuesday, 250 people sat in a room and in doing so, demonstrated that they were supporters of our cause. Whether they were there under duress or through their own personal incentives, they all took the time to say that they believed in our belief in music. For that reason, I am so proud of everyone involved. We did not just put on a show, we showed people why we needed them to care and that was something amazing.

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