Chiswick Community School's Summer Arts Festival

Annual event gaining a deserved reputation as place to see and be seen at

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Visitors were thrilled by the wealth of talent on offer at the Summer Arts Festival held at Chiswick Community School.

Encompassing five different stages and with a carnival parade for good measure, this event is fast gaining a deserved reputation as the local event of the social season to see and be seen at.

Visitors arrived in their droves to this sold out event, choosing it over the Mumford and Sons concert happening at Chiswick House over the road. They were welcomed by the soft summer sounds of Jan Hammer’s ‘Crockets Theme’ over the speakers as they arrived and were suitably nourished by the food, served up as with last year by the excellent riverside restaurant ‘Pissarro’ and included in the ticket price.

Steel pans announced the formal beginning of the festival and students and parents wandered the festival catching music from as diverse talents as the Jazz Band with their refreshing blend of the traditional and the modern; heard to dazzling effect on their rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Happy Talk’, the School Orchestra wowing old and young alike with the ‘Dr Who Theme’ and fast becoming a school favourite, Kane Atkinson who transported the school back to the era of the Rat Pack and Songs for Swinging Lovers with his rendition of ‘That’s Life’.

Fans of theatre were not disappointed, The Year 10 Devised Mask Pieces created by the BTEC Performing Arts Group provided a recurrent theme to the festival and threw up a distorted mirror to modern mores and conventions. The Year 12 Drama piece deftly used the style of street theatre to make the outdoor stage their own with their piece entitled, ‘with a little help from my friends’ and inside the hall Year 7 and 9 Drama impressing with ‘the sound collector’ and ‘Timeline’ respectively.

In the garden area of the quad, known as ‘Guitar Corner’ music was played showcasing a host of talent still very much in love with the guitar. Each year has it’s soundtrack and this year the music of Coldplay was heard not only in Guitar Corner with Violet Vincent and Melissa Svenson’s moving acoustic rendition of ‘The Scientist’ but also in Tago Obana-Cox’s Glastonbury worthy performance of ‘Fix You’ on the outdoors stage.

The visual arts were in rude health, whether with a second chance to see the AS and A2 art exhibition in the gallery space, the photography exhibition which had one parent exclaiming, ‘I really don’t know how they keep this standard up,’ and the parade of hats which brought a touch of magic and took the festival into uncharted but very welcome territories.

The festival represents an astonishing feat of organisation from all involved. Thanks must be paid to all students, but also to the whole Arts staff team for the weeks of preparation and rehearsal that went into this as well as the vision behind it. The PTA’s history of fundraising at the school needs no introduction and whether manning the entrance, the bar, the barbecue or setting out stages and tables they showed again the tremendous passion they have for Chiswick Community School.

Andrew Dodge speaking as both Chair of Governors and a member of the audience, stated that, ‘we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were quite taken aback by the quality and range of work the students from across the school were able to display and perform.’

Alan Howson paid tribute to students, staff and PTA alike at will be his final Summer Arts Festival as Headteacher, ‘I truly think it is the best night of the year and love the relaxed atmosphere and plethora of activities. Drama, Art, Music, Photography were all fantastic with the standard exceptionally high and getting better each year.’

It is no surprise that performers and staff cannot wait to make it even better next year. Something tells me that with the wealth of talent at Chiswick, that just might be possible.

July 13, 2010

October 26, 2010