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It's early BUT - Carol concerts

Discussion in 'Music' started by Rockmeamadeus, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Nah - do the fun stuff first!
    There is no reason why you have to follow what the school did before. My personal view is that a Carol service should traditionaly be in a church - In every school I have worked at I have done the carol service/concert in the local parish church and they have been grateful to have us. I have had the local incumbent do a bidding prayer or blessing or talk (that did backfire once as he took the opportunity to preach hell fire - so do insist that any message needs to be appropriate).
    I invite the WHOLE OF YEAR 7 to the event and we use four lessons to prepare. I give them two items to sing in easy parts then split each class in two. If you can pursuade colleages to let them out of class you might get the whole year group in the hall for 20 minutes to put it together a few days before hand.
    By getting the whole of Year 7 you do two things - fill the venue with parents and give some of the Year 7 a taste for performance. You might even feed a choir this way - I do.
    I have congregational carols which I teach to Year 7 and to my choir. My orchestra play the carols however if you have not got one and you do go to church try to get the organist to play for you.
    I have various other little solos etc and I end with a big ensemble number such as "I don't want a lot for Christmas"
    On the day I spend the morning preparing. You DO need support staff to walk them down the church and permission slips from everyone involved to get them out of school.
    I admit the Hall is easier BUT the chuch is more special.
    But this is just my opinion - what works in one school could be a disaster in another so . . .
    A first step might be to find the local parish church.
    Oh . . . and don't forget to plan and resource at least two units of work for each year group before you start in September and understand what the school will expect in terms of assessment and reporting. And make sure you have your KS4 course planned out from start to finish, making sure you plan in time for coursework, recordings and revision - you shoudl do a week by week plan for this just outlining what you will teach and when so you don't rush things at the end.
  2. cate50

    cate50 New commenter

    ok!!! One or two things to remember there. Luckily I am middle school so no KS4 or exams. In terms of the SOW's it is that I "think" there are none - the current post holder is meant to be supplying them. But I can't plan anything like that without a timetable and class lists and what they have done before! The Christmas concert is something that I can do without having to have such detailed information.
    I LOVE the idea of getting the youngest year group performing though. And this could be somthing that I use as a starter in some lessons too. (don't want to bore them with xmas too early). Your ideas and suggestions for organisation have been great, I am going to start sourcing some good singing music in four parts now!! When I know exactly who my peri's are and what they teach I will be able to ask them for groups/solos too. Thanks guys!

    Cate [​IMG]
  3. Sir Cumference

    Sir Cumference Occasional commenter

    You might be interested in my publication "Christmas Wonders", which is designed to be adapted as Carol Service/Concert or with optional play.
    I am a headteacher/musician who also styruggled to find anything "beyond" KS1 level so wrote and published this. It has been extremely popular for the last two years at Christmas and I'm pleased to report that the song "Wonders" got to the final of the UK Songwriting Contest.
    For details and to listen to the songs go to http://www.onemoretime.biz/aboutchristmaswonders.php
    Apologies of this looks too much like advertising, but it might be the answer to the original question!
  4. MrMusic

    MrMusic New commenter

    I've been at my school now for two years and my first carol concert was an absolute baptism of fire. Any questions I had about organisation where met with the typical response "it just happened, that's your responsibility" but getting a clear idea about the expectations is good. I had to give a set list to my SLT for approval (can you believe it!?!?!?!) which caused a few problems so getting some ideas now is a great idea. If you're looking for some good pieces you can teach to a whole year group here are a few of my trusted favourites:
    Somewhere in my Memory from Home Alone:
    Bethlehem from Martin Guerre (the original version and not the re-write)
    When Christmas Comes to Town from Polar Express

    I'm not having to spend this summer researching some new ones although I have to say it is my favourite job all year.
    I agree with earlier comments about getting a whole year group involved and I've previously linked this with a project on songs for all seasons which starts with a song about Halloween and soundscapes.
    I've also done Xmas Factor auditions in November which has thrown out some talent and can help fill out any spaces you may have. It's also a good idea to see who can perform under pressure. It gets a lot of people involved and if you can get some from your management team in it will bring great kudos to your department.
    Good luck!

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