Elise, Tom, Haydn and I were asked to perform at a lunchtime concert. However, it was no regular Bradfield lunchtime concert; instead, we would be performing in front of a group of young pupils at Horris Hill Prep School.
A few months before, all of us had been given Sixth Form Music Scholarships and we were not new to performing. Nevertheless, whilst we have all performed at numerous gigs, both big and small, we all admitted this was the first performance to such a young crowd!
One little boy stayed behind and heart-warmingly came and shook each of our hands to tell us how beautiful the concert was.
We grabbed a quick lunch and travelled to the school where upon arrival, we were formally greeted by the Head of Music. We were each given some time to set up, practice and decide on the running order before the young boys came jumping into the hall having eaten their lunch.
This was when the nerves kicked in. Previously, none of us had felt nervous because, well, as some would say, “they’re just a bunch of kids”, yet seeing all those gleaming, excited faces looking up towards us, we realised there was no room for disappointment with these young judges. We had to bring our all!
Tom began as a solo performer and introduced himself wonderfully, before he sang two of his original pieces. He began with The Fall, setting the bar extremely high by impressing the whole room. Then, he moved onto a more sensitive song, Tell, written about a friend of his.
He admitted that this song had not been performed in front of a crowd until now, so it was all the more sentimental. With such an impeccable start, Tom kindly introduced Haydn and myself as a duo.
Seeing all those gleaming, excited faces looking up towards us, we realised there was no room for disappointment with these young judges.
We commenced our performance with our version of Best Part by H.E.R., one that we had not performed before. It was so new that we had only rehearsed it for a week when we were asked to perform at the concert. This was the perfect opportunity to try it and the outcome was great. Our second song was one of our classic versions of My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker.
We thought, after the upbeat tone from Best Part, this song was the perfect way to gently close our set and pass on to Elise and Tom. At first, they sang Heart Like Yours by Willamette Stone, incorporating flawless harmonies that worked so naturally.
To close the gig, they finished off with a gorgeous remake of Fools by Lauren Aquilina. On their final note, the room erupted with applause from the tiny hands in front of us.
All that we could see were smiles all around. Seeing the children sit so quietly with intrigued faces throughout almost an hour of performances was so rewarding and enjoyable. Afterwards, all of the boys shouted “thank you” and one little boy even stayed behind and heart-warmingly came and shook each of our hands to tell us how beautiful the concert was.