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Kettering Eisteddfod has now finished  and there is much upon which to report. Pupils and teachers have been working hard for a number of months towards the competitions and there has been a further increase in the number of entries this year. It is fabulous to witness pupils’ return to School after a competition with them clearly feeling that it really was ‘worth it’. The experience is character building and mimics the reality of life and the mountains that all of us have to overcome.

St Peter’s School Choir swept the board at this year’s choir competitions.  Their performances showed great accuracy and mature sensitivity as well as some incredible harmony singing.  Wow! Although we were the only school choir in our particular categories, St Peter’s School Choir were awarded a very high 88 marks by a most esteemed adjudicator, Andrea Calladine. They were then judged against all the choirs in the other classes. As they were awarded the highest choir marks in the competition this year, they were also awarded the Corby Male Voice Choir Trophy, as overall winners of the Choir ‘open’ competitions and The Leonard Shield as overall winner of the Hymn Singing competitions. The phrase ‘strength in numbers’ is widely used but I would suggest that in the case of the current St Peter’s School Choir, this adage is not accurate; our smallest choir yet shows that well-trained voices and frequent rehearsals (thank you Mrs Cruickshank and Mrs Lee!) added to committed pupils (thank you choir member!) makes a recipe for success.  The saying should instead be ‘small and strong’!  

Our Group Speakers also represented the School with great aplomb and were awarded high marks in recognition of their high standards.  The Year Five & Year Six group who have been working on two poems with Mrs Dreyer throughout Lent Term, were awarded a very high 89 marks and 1st place .  There was just one mark separating the winners of the Year Three & Year Four Group Speaking competition, with our entry being awarded 2nd place and super adjudication comments, inspiring Mr Holmes and his pupils on to next year’s competition!

Thank you to all the parents who were able to help with transporting pupils to the group competition events.  This meant that we could avoid the cost attached to hiring a bus, and it also meant that you could witness their fantastic performances. Our Year Six ensemble came second in their ensemble competition. Much to their delight, Year Four came 1st in their competition, with Year Five in 2nd place!

There were numerous individual successes for pupils, some manifesting themselves in 1st, 2nd or 3rd places but there were also the personal triumphs, for instance, taking part in a competition for the first time or conquering pre-performance nerves to play or recite in front of a large audience. 

Moving then to the individual competitions, there is much to share!

Congratulations to Ruby Allan who won the ‘Verse Speaking 8 & Under’ and well done to Anaiya Paes who also acquitted herself well.  Emily Laskey was placed 3rd in the ‘Sight Reading 8 Year & Under’.  It is worth highlighting to parents that the Eisteddfod has some competitions like this that you may wish to enter your child into yourself.  The School has a limited number of staff and we enter a large number of pupils into a wide variety of classes, but the options for competition entry can always be supplemented by parents. 

Well done to the following pupils who took part in the first of two ‘Verse Speaking 6 Years & Under’: Jerome Birch, Bella Sieunarine, Shonam George, Jude Taylor and Agastya Ghosh.  In the second of this age range’s competitions Grace Irwin was awarded 1st place, James MacDonald and Fred McCrone were placed joint 2nd and Beatrice Furnell was awarded 3rd place.  Well done also to Hamza Nauman, Naisha Pandey, Bhuvan Botchu and Varnikaa Sengar on their performances.  Holly Styles won the ‘Verse Speaking 9 Years and Under’ and Casey Lim was placed 3rd.  Well done to Esha Nath and Orla Drury for gaining scores to be proud of too!  Daisy Styles came 2nd in ‘Verse Speaking 7 Year & Under’ and Ali Altunkaynak was 3rd.  Well done also to Samuel Buckenham, Ava Brammer, Thomas Holford, Aneesa Wickremasinghe and Elliott Furnell, and also to our ‘Verse Speaking 10 Year & Under’ competitors, Helin Altunkaynak, Isabelle Hall, Charlotte Millar-Politis, Amber Wickremasinghe and Tania Bizabani who all received commended marks

The good news just kept rolling in with the results of the various instrumental and solo vocal competitions too.  Montague MacPhee was declared winner of the ‘Vocal Solo 8 & Under’. Tania Bizabani was 2nd in the ‘Vocal Solo 9-10 Years’ and Casey Lim was in 3rd place. Congratulations also go to their fellow competitors: Holly Styles, Nicole Mukhtar and Isabelle Hall. 

We live in hope that more local schools will join in with the instrumental competitions at the Eisteddfod but once again this year there was a lack of presence from other schools, which is such a shame.  Fortunately, the concept of the adjudicator giving detailed comments about each performance and competitors striving to get a commended, distinction or outstanding score keeps us all focussed! 

Our ocarina players were certainly focussed this year, with both the key Stage One and Key Stage Two groups being awarded a commended score.  James Macdonald won the Key Stage One Ocarina Solo competition with Bella Sieunarine in 2nd place and Bhuvan Botchu in 3rd place.  Well done also to Fred McCrone, Naisha Pandey and Agastya Ghosh.  Sam Buckenham won the Key Stage Two Ocarina Solo, with Daisy Styles 2nd and Thomas Holford and Finlay Ward sharing 3rd place. 

Congratulations to Casey Lim for winning the Pianoforte Solo 9 Years & Under’ and also to Kiran Conway for coming 2nd. Well done to our other piano competition entrants: Ava Brammer, Bhuvan Botchu, Reeve Lim and Ruby Allan for all receiving commendations.

In ‘String Solo 8 year & Under’, Reeve Lim was 1st and Grace Hillis was 2nd.  Casey Lim was awarded a 1st place and a very high score of 87 for her ‘Violin Solo 9 Year and Under’.  Reeve Lim won the ‘Recorder Solo 8 Years and Under’ with Naomi Cragg and Zana Paynter sharing 2nd place.  Casey Lim was given another 87 marks in the ‘Recorder Solo 9 year & Under’ which she won, with Esha Nath in 3rd place.  Joe Allan won the ‘Recorder Solo 10 year & Under’ with Helin Altunkaynak in 3rd place.

As if all of that wasn’t enough good news, three of our pupils were asked to perform at Saturday’s Kettering Eisteddfod Prize-winners Concert: Grace Irwin, Holly Styles and Casey Lim, and Casey were awarded the G M Risibly Award in recognition of the talent she has shown across a range of competitions this year.

Results for all classes and awards can be viewed on the Eisteddfod website at www.ketteringeisteddfod.org.uk

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