Brentwood pupils come together through performing arts

The independent school has ‘staged’ over 50 events in dance, drama and music during lockdown

Brentwood School has brought pupils together in lockdown through a number of performing arts projects that aim to ‘lift everyone’s spirits’.

One project includes a remote collaboration of a Covid-19 rendition of One Day More from the musical Les Misérables, which was the school’s 2019 winter musical.

The project sees a cast of 70 pupils, aged 11-18, collaborating from homes around Essex and London. With no director or conductor, pupils had a single piano recording played through their headphones alongside their sheet music.

Theo, who played Javert and is a member of the Bromley Youth Music Trust, said: “The One Day More parody was a great way to lift everyone’s spirits during a period which is challenging for everyone.

“Whilst it enabled us to reminisce about what was an amazing production, I also found the sentiment of the song very fitting to our current situation, which is that we should all try to live one day at a time.”

Director of performing arts, Matthew Bulmer, said: “While our pupils are so full of hope and positivity, they all miss their friends and miss being creative together at school. This project gave them all a chance to come together and sing about being 11, 12 or a teenager in ‘lockdown’ stuck at home.”

In 2018 Brentwood was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for performing arts by Independent School Parent, and has seen increased interest in performing arts over recent years. Brentwood also became a Steinway School this year, and launched a rare instrument scheme in music to offer pupils opportunities otherwise unavailable to them.

Click here for Mr Bulmer’s advice for schools that want to improve their online creative offering.

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