TestFest 2019 attracts a great crowd to watch performances from an array of talented musicians, dancers and actors from Testbourne Community School. Over £1,100 was raised from the open-air mini Festival, organised by the PTFA, on Saturday 6th July from 12-4pm.
TestFest opened with a stunning performance from the School’s Concert Orchestra and Balalaika ensemble, who played an arrangement of the nation’s favourite TV theme – Sherlock! The Balalaika’s gave the piece an edgy and distinctive sound, resonating perfectly with the Eastern European influences of the original music written for Sherlock. The Orchestra then continued to play its own set before the Balalaika ensemble took to the stage, led by our Russian impresario and guitar legend, Adrian Zolotuhin. The ensemble played a great set of authentic Russian folk tunes, were suitably dressed in Russian attire (including a fur cap from the percussionist) and finished with the well-known Cossack song which involves traditional kicking of legs. All very energetic and crowd pleasing – despite the heat!
The afternoon also included musical performances from the Woodwind and Brass ensembles, playing an array of classics as well as themes from well-known musicals and films. Bella Voce choir also sang a medley of Disney songs as well as an Ed Sheeran classic and ‘A Million Dreams’ from the hit musical The Greatest Showman, all in beautiful harmonies. GCSE Music students also performed a variety of music, from Muse to Billy Eilish, in bands, duet and solo acts.
TestFest has been going for five years and has given many students a platform to perform over the years, for example recent Testbourne leaver Eddie George debuted at TestFest and is now studying Music Performance at the prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music in London. Whether or not students are seeking a career in the music industry or not, performing in these ensembles to audiences helps to develop confidence and team work as well as develop qualities such as courage, responsibility, resilience and diligence through regular practice.
Testbourne Youth Theatre gave audiences an enticing excerpt from their recent work on a play they have devised called Silent Voices which deals with issues around mental health. Performances from talented Year 8 and GCSE Dancers helped bring a different element to the Festival with some stunning performances.
The Art Department provided face painting, and the Science Department and prefects launched rockets with younger children. There was also a penalty shoot-out, plant sale, ice cream, popcorn, refreshments and a BBQ for the audience to enjoy throughout the afternoon. Wristbands helped give the event a festival vibe and the weather was perfect for lounging around in the sun – or shade from the trees in most cases! A huge thanks to all the PTFA members who organised the event with the Music Department and helped run stalls and food outlets. We are looking forward to the next one – Saturday 27th June 2020 – please save the date.