Over 100 pupils from Hull Collegiate School celebrated ‘The Roots of Rhythm’ last week with two full days of music and arts activities – from a mass samba band to local artist workshops.
The events were planned in conjunction with the month-long, national cultural festival – IDeas Festival – which has just been launched by United Learning, the family of schools to which Hull Collegiate belongs. The festival aims to encourage pupils across the Group to explore and celebrate their local, regional and national identity and use these ideas to enrich their curriculum.
The school was therefore inspired to connect with the ongoing Hull City of Culture 2017 celebrations, so staff made ‘roots and routes’, the theme of the second quarter of City of Culture events, the centre of their plans.
‘The Roots of Rhythm’ celebration got underway on Thursday 22nd June with a mass samba band of Hull Collegiate pupils as well as those from thirteen primary schools across East Yorkshire . The band, led by United Learning’s own Head of Music and Performing Arts, Catherine Barker, marched around the school before pupils were divided into groups for a range of other cultural activities.
Over the course of the first day, pupils learnt to play in a Gamelan orchestra – an Indonesian style of music made up of percussion instruments. They also enjoyed jazz improvisation workshops with the group Steppin’ Out as part of the Live Music Now project. Some groups later took part in creative sessions about business, philosophy and creative writing.
On the following day, the celebrations continued and included special guests from the local community. The poet Ash Dickinson performed several of his poems, including a new one about the city of Hull, and supported pupils in writing their own haikus, quatrains and longer poems about ‘roots and routes’.
The school also welcomed talented folk musician Eliza Carthy, who gave several outstanding performances to smaller groups and in the main school assembly, singing and accompanying herself on the fiddle. Eliza also taught pupils to join in with a cup rhythm as part of her new song about Hull, which has been commissioned for this year’s City of Culture events.
Rebecca Glover, Headmistress of Hull Collegiate School, said:
“As part of the IDeas Festival, we chose to celebrate our local area identity and so Hull’s City of Culture programme provided the perfect tie-in for us. In exploring ‘The Roots of Rhythm’, our pupils have thoroughly enjoyed performing, engaging with ideas about identity and learning from impressive local artists and alongside other local schools. Over the two days of celebrations, pupils have had an exciting array of new opportunities but, importantly, they have also been able to ground this learning in their curriculum work through creative writing and music performance. I would like to thank all of our guests, staff and pupils for helping to make the event such a success.”