6 November 2020
However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions this year, we were not able to go ahead with the usual arrangements and needed to recast the performance across three separate casts—one show for each of the three Year 5 classes. We did this because we were determined to retain the Musical as a pivotal and significant learning experience for Year 5 students at Pembroke Junior School. To enable the performances to go ahead, we also relocated to DY Hall in the Senior School for the first time.
Annie Jr. was the musical of choice this year and the students were excited from the outset in Term 1. Shortly after announcing the name of the show, the cohort were auditioned and cast into roles; however, as a result of the aforementioned changes, many students found themselves transitioning into a larger role. Never before in my career had I witnessed students adapt to such enormous changes in expectations—both their own and ours. The resilience, cooperation, flexibility, positivity and understanding that each student demonstrated was outstanding. Mrs Howard (Music Director) and I (Director) were delighted to witness the consistent and significant development of all the students across many aspects of the Performing Arts curriculum throughout the process of preparing for this musical.
The new configuration remarkably offered a multitude of opportunities for students; they were familiar with the venue, developed strong bonds with peers in their class, and were nurtured and stretched into more significant and substantial roles. Each class was given a whole day in DY Hall, which included performing a dress rehearsal for their buddy class and culminated in the formal evening performance for their families.
Our current Year 5 cohort is a group of amazing children; each performance was excellent as a result of their fine efforts and courage. While the three classes performed separately, there was an enormous sense of comradery across the year level and with the class teachers. We celebrated the great success together with a cast party in the week after the shows, and through this it was clear to both Mrs Howard and me that each child had achieved a personal best due to their united approach and the sense of community that surrounded them throughout their learning.
Year 5 Musical Director