Spring Concert 2023
The late, great Aretha Franklin said that music is “transporting…it can take you right back to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.” This was certainly the case on Thursday 28 April as we hosted our annual Spring Concert in the Croston Theatre.
It was a showcase of the broad talent across the senior school, blended with that unique Westholme togetherness that ensures staff, students, parents, and wider Westholme Family left uplifted, in the knowledge that they had been part of something truly special. Our Music Department put together such a wide array of performances from all genres, which meant that we would move from a rock band into classical piano, from a vibrant Disney choir montage to a powerful orchestral piece by Tchaikovsky. There was certainly something there for everyone and, as Aretha Franklin stated, will have transported our audience back to moments in their lives, evoking meaningful memories which certainly took us all through a range of emotions. The cathartic experience was testament to the quality of the performances by our students and the guidance of all of our music staff.
Under the leadership of Mr Holt and Mrs Lewis, and the wider support of our vocal and instrumental teachers, our choirs, bands, and soloists played out the year to perfection. As the pinnacle of the Westholme musical journey for our Year 13 students, they were certainly in the spotlight, as this would be their final concert at the school before standing down for their A Level examinations. Led by our two Music Captains, Tom and Edward, they each performed spellbinding solo performances that demonstrated the professional expertise they have each reached throughout their time at school.
Congratulations to everyone involved!
FAME The Musical
Over a four evening period in February 2023, the cast of ‘FAME The Musical’ lit up the Croston Theatre with their dynamic and brilliant performances. It started with a short preview of the production in the morning’s whole school assembly, where they performed an extract of the final musical in front of their fellow pupils.
Director of Music Mr Holt and the band also accompanied them in the orchestra pit. It was a brilliant way to start the week for students and staff alike who were in the assembly, and the cast were afforded a warm round of applause amid the excitement of seeing how the final show would look!
A full dress rehearsal was then performed to visiting schools in the Theatre, who came in specially to watch and were treated to some magnificent performances. The stage was set fantastically with lighting effects and even a model yellow taxi to create the feel of New York. The rehearsal went down a treat and it was a great way to warm up for the first live night of the event later that evening.
Having started on a Wednesday and lasting until Saturday, the live shows were a fantastic spectacle and went down extremely well with all those who came to watch. There was lots of praise for the level of ability and commitment from the students involved in the production.
Our Country’s Good
In December 2022, we were delighted to put on our own production of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s play Our Country’s Good, directed by Head of Drama Miss Roberts. The play is described as “Bursting with humanity, humour, heartache and passion”, and people in the crowd were transported back in time to the early colonisation era of Australia. The main theme being the redemptive powers of theatre as a group of convicts stage a production in a penal colony in New South Wales in the 1780s.
Our talented cast of students thespians entertained friends and family in the Croston Theatre with a sumptuous take on the epic play. The stage was beautifully presented with backdrops and special effects, thanks to the members of the technical staff and students who had been busy working behind the scenes.
After many weeks of hard work and practice rehearsing lines and getting into character, students really delivered on both nights. They were some magnificent individual performances and the whole cast really shone through!
A great story, we hope all those who attended enjoyed the experience, and well done to all those student actors who took part!
The Sound of Music
Between 29 June & 2 July the hills surrounding Westholme well and truly came alive with The Sound of Music! Our opening night took place on a Wednesday evening and it was great to finally see the culmination of months of hard work come together in the form of the much loved musical. Families, children, past pupils and staff come over the duration of the production to show their support for our amazingly talented students who have sacrificed many a late night for rehearsals. It was all worth it though, because the performances were simply magnificent!
Dr Robson…”This week we have been transported into the world of the Von Trapp family who together find courage and strength to choose what is good and true; demonstrating bravery against great odds.”
On 25 and 26 November 2021 we returned to the theatre for our first senior school performance since re-opening the Croston Theatre doors after the Covid-19 pandemic, for the production Two by Jim Cartwright.
Taking place over one night in a local pub, Two is a reflection of reality and life seen through the prism of a Northern pub. It examines the subtle detail of the everyday and makes it heroic and comedic all at once. But it is also a piece of pure theatre, providing the perfect platform for actors to show their trade. Cartwright presents fourteen different characters and dissects them for us, opening them up, showing their frailties and fears, their foibles and fantasies.
The play was performed by our talented students from the INSPIRED Sixth Form and Year 11 and as Mrs Davenport put it; “Hilarious and harrowing in equal measure. Our first performance emerging from Covid was well worth the wait. Sophisticated interpretation and skilled acting. Brilliant.”
It was an absolute pleasure to welcome guests back into the theatre over the duration of the production evenings and dress rehearsals, and brilliant to see live Theatre in the Croston Theatre once again.
Congratulations to the cast, crew and support team.