One of the most popular inter-house competitions returned to Oakham on the evening of Sunday 27 February, with the houses gathering for the Boarding House Singing Competition. With only a week to select a song from the set list and prepare it in house without staff support, the competition always draws on corporate house spirit in putting on the best possible performance.
Reigning champions Round House sang first on the night, performing Billy Joel’s popular ‘Uptown Girl’ with great smiles and a bright sound. The Middle School girls’ houses all responded strongly, with Rushebrookes singing ‘Call me maybe’ with great energy and good soloists. Stevens captured the fun party spirit of ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ with some strong group work, solos and 2-part singing. However, it was Buchanans who really stood out amongst the girls’ houses with the John Legend ballad ‘All of me’. Their superb soloists, excellent harmonies, strong visuals and varied dynamics when the whole house sang made them the worthy winners of this year’s Best Girls’ House shield.
The boys’ houses were not to be outdone, however, and it was notable that lots of preparation and commitment had also gone into their performances on the night. Wharflands led off with ‘I want it that way’, which was well-learned and featured some good solo singing and group work. Haywoods introduced some 2-part singing in their performance of ‘Pompeii’, which really took off in their energised performance of the choruses. Chapmans built in confidence throughout their rendition of ‘Livin’ on a prayer’, and galvanized by a solo from their Head of House, they came into their own in the second half of the song. School House sang last in the competition, bringing a spirit of great enjoyment to ‘Roar’ which demonstrated bright, engaging singing and great ambition in its antiphonal use of two groups, making them the worthy winners of the Best Boys’ House shield.
There was a terrific, positive spirit in evidence throughout the competition, with strong mutual support as each house performed in turn. It also demonstrated the community spirit of Oakham at its best, with large groups of pupils coming together in song. In the end, there can only be one overall winner, and there was little doubt on the night that Buchanans were the worthy overall winners of the competition. Congratulations to all involved!