I’m not long back in from a triumphant first night (of two) of Wallyford PS’s production of Grease. My role was very straightforward – to play the bass guitar alongside pianist Ewan Armstrong, of MGS, who has been rehearsing the cast on a weekly basis for most of this session.
The retention of so many lines by such young minds was extremely impressive – as was the singing, timing and general stagecraft. Most of all, though, everyone looked like they were delighted to be taking part. Well done to all involved!
Christmas is perceived as the busy time of year for instrumental instructors as, every school puts on one or two evening’s worth of yuletide music-making as near the end of term as possible. However, this term has been no slouch either. In addition to SQA practical exams, the last few weeks of term has seen: a Sunday band call, Wednesday dress rehearsal and then 3 nights of Guys & Dolls at NBHS; Campie Musical Evening; East Lothian’s Showcase Concert; Knox Spring Concert (tonight) and NBHS Spring Concert (tomorrow).
These last two clashed with the only two nights of Wallyford PS’s production of Annie and so I took the opportunity to go along to the dress rehearsal last night. I was really stunned by the stage presence, quality of singing, acting, accents and, last but not least, by the traditional Wallyfordesque lack of prima donnability.
It struck me how odd it was to have walked past many of these pupils, so many times, completely unaware of their great talent.
After 17 years’ service to Wallyford PS, Mary Vevers was honoured with a retirement assembly. Part of this included a performance by a guitar group featuring current and former pupils. After playing a few tunes, we were joined by the Staff Choir who, with minimal rehearsal, sang a reworded version of Richard Rogers’ Happy Talk as a send-off for Mary. Among the lines describing the freedoms afforded by retirement was “…..even have your lunch before the bell.” With an irony that you could plan, the bell chimed in as this line approached. Personnel details and mp3s are available on the Wallyford PS page.