Musical tribute

An amazing evening was had by all at Gateacre School’s summer concert. As always their students’ talent and hard work shone through, showcasing a year’s worth of work.

The event, bookended by performances from the Gateacre Orchestra, saw the usual eclectic musical mix, taking in everything from Chopin to Panic at the Disco, performed by students across all year groups.

Introduced by comperes Brian Comer and Freya Barnes, there were emotional farewell performances from the school’s Year 13 leavers.

There were debut performances from Carl Penquet who treated everyone to a lovely solo rendition of The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’, Lukas Adomaitis with a soulful ‘You Are The Reason’ and Year 8 student, Summer Best with a sensitive reading of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’.

The Year 7 trumpets treated everyone to a swinging version of ‘When the Saints’ and two Year 10 singers, Amy Morton and Caoimhe Quinn delivered superb versions of ‘Titanium’ and ‘Killing Me Softly’ respectively.

However, it was the end of the concert which was truly the highlight of the evening.

Thirty or so former Gateacre music students appeared from the wings to join the orchestra for an emotionally charged finale of a re-written ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ and ‘Hey Jude’ in tribute to departing head of music Mr Jones who is retiring after 32 years at Gateacre.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Mr Jones took up the baton and the audience sang along, waving their ‘Na na na’ placards; a fitting end to a wonderful concert.

The former students had arranged the surprise over a number of months via Facebook, and even held secret rehearsals in school without Mr Jones realising!

Students travelled from near and far (the furthest being China, where the former students band are currently touring) to be a part of this very special night. Video messages came flooding into school, with students citing how Mr Jones and the Gateacre music department had influenced them in their future careers. Many whom are now professional musicians, performers, sound engineers and music teachers to name a few.

One student has even took it upon themselves to erect a Blue Plaque in his honour close to the site of the former Gateacre School building on Grange Lane, Gateacre.

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