Posted: 05 December 2016
Andy Clarke Head of Music at Sturminster Newton High School in Dorset took his choir and samba band to New York in October for an incredible music tour.
Here he tells us just how amazing both students and teachers found the experience.
“As it was the tenth anniversary of our first tour and for some of our sixth formers it was going to be their last tour, we decided to go for a once in a lifetime tour.
“New York certainly didn’t disappoint. From start to finish everyone kept saying how absolutely amazing it was. Every time we did something, like ice skating in the Rockerfeller Centre, visiting Grand Central Station or shopping in Macy’s, we couldn’t believe it could get any better. But it did.
“The highlight for me was performing on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building. It was probably one of the best half an hours of my life so far. We performed just at the entrance, an ideal space, so there was a huge and brilliant audience. A Japanese tourist even filmed us and asked for autographs afterwards!
“Another highlight was performing on an aircraft carrier at the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum. We just kept telling ourselves we couldn’t believe how amazing it was. The students really enjoyed all the concerts but they also loved the shopping!
“This was the first time we’d ventured outside Europe and I would say the one very worthwhile thing I did was to hold a parents evening in June ahead of our tour in October. We asked parents to bring in all their documents – passports, health cards etc. This gave us time to work out what was missing and get everything sorted in time.
“Our choir and band are like a family but touring always brings us even closer together. New friendships are formed and students get to see staff in a completely different light.
“We were already good but out there we sounded incredible; touring always improves musical standards.
“New York will certainly be something both we teachers and the students will remember for the rest of our lives!”
Anthony Chew, Head of Music, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, Lancashire.
Jane Werry, Head of Music, Hayes School, Kent.
James Williams, Llandovery College, Carmarthenshire.