Children from the Palmer Academy on Northumberland Avenue have been regularly attending lunchtime concerts at Reading University over the last year. It’s clear that the children enjoy these concerts, and after a year of being exposed to a wide variety of music from a capella singing groups to string ensembles, it seemed sensible to get a child’s opinion for a change.
Most recently, the children attended the Reading University (RU) student showcase on 1 March. After the performance, Rob Bruce and Trina Binks from the Palmer Academy collected the opinions of some of their eight year old students.
The concert opened with the RU music society string group playing an arrangement of Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean followed by Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
The Pirates opening caused considerable excitement, but “the piece I loved the best was Mozart,” said Pamela Chambua. “The music makes me think of doves and eagles gracefully flying through meadows of green pastures.”
Next, soprano Orlen Crawford sang Dans les Ruines d’une Abbaye by Gabriel Fauré, to piano accompaniment from Susan Holmes.
“I liked the opera singer because she had a miraculous voice; she sounded like an angel,” said Pamela.
Some of the children sang along to the next piece, Mac Huff’s arrangement of Sara Bareilles’ Brave and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors called Truly Brave which was performed by the RU music society choir.
“The university choir were brilliant; they sounded like larks. I was so happy my heart was singing!” said Pamela.
The performance that seemed to get the biggest response was the RU Gospel Choir’s soulful rendition of Bill Withers’ Lean on Me.
“My favourite show of the day was the gospel choir because they sang so beautifully and it really caught my attention to want to listen to this amazing performance,” said Betty Amoah Nyame.
Laura Addo was also impressed by the choir’s striking outfit. “I think that the gospel choir in their red scarves were the best because they used lots of harmonies.”
“I really loved the gospel choir singing Lean on me. It was beautiful; it was as great as the sweet tweets of song birds, except they were better,” said Pamela, adding “I can’t wait until the next trip to the university.”
Millie Ward summed up their experience. “The concert was fun yesterday [on 1 March], I just wished it was longer!”
With many thanks to the staff and students of the Palmer Academy.