The Petchey Orchestra Concert with Skinners' Academy

Thursday 15th of March was a very special date as it marked the first concert for The Petchey Orchestra who teamed up with Skinners' Academy

Tuan tells us about the experience

It was quite a fun time, surprisingly a lot of fun to do so in a concert with people that you know watching you perform. It was a thrill to be in the moment and be in the spotlight of the current song and be the attraction of the audience. Never the less, it was quite nerve-wracking when we were getting ready as the seats were filling in slowly, just as our hearts were slowly being filled in with fear. A few of us were more prepared than others, due to the fact that we already participated in similar events of entertainment towards a group of expectant and often supportive audience members. It was a unique time as I for one, am still new to the piano, yet I played a quartet and a duet quite well without playing through many mistakes, well for others many were already experienced with playing their instruments, some already hitting their 5 year milestone. Whilst some succumbed to the heavy stress of playing in front of a group of people, they still managed to pull through and play exceedingly well, not being dragged back by the others. Overall, you should know that no matter how hard the situation, you can pull through if you try.

Dominik talks about practicing

This concert to most of us was rather important and hard to practice for as we were tasked with playing over 3 pieces of music. This was hard as our main piece of music which we were tasked with doing sectionals or in our own little groups where we would decide on a song and had to practice it in our music rooms until the concert and being ready to perform it. Subsequently, this would take up a large amount of our time, in the end we did not mind and we regretted not putting even more time into these performances, even though they already sounded magnificent from what the audience had said. Most practices consisted of going into music rooms at lunch times with our little groups, practicing our timings and piecing our parts together. These parts would consist of the pieces that we would practice at home, which were our separate little responsibilities to carry it out into our ensembles; for example, my task was to learn the backing track and the chords to ‘Little do you Know’ by Alex & Sierra. While others in the orchestra who were more experienced had to learn larger parts in their ensembles.

Ben tells us how it turned out in the end

After weeks of practice, the fateful day was us. We grouped together at 5:30 PM to begin to set up, providing roughly twenty minutes of preparation, in which we assembled, moved and tuned our instruments. By the time we had done this, we still had plenty of time to run through a couple of the pieces. Our practice did not go as well as it could have, but we were running out of time, so we decided that Skinners should go to practice their individual piece, which was unknown to us at the time, whilst we practiced our piece, called Run.

By 6:30, almost all the parents and friends of those playing had arrived so our first piece, Run by Snow Patrol. All of us had done exceptionally well, the trumpets and lead violins playing the melody, with an array of other instruments like the drum kit, played by Daniel, and the bass guitar played by Ivor, as well as Matias and Osapolo playing the long notes in the background.

We did lots of solos after that, including Perfect, played by Aleah on piano, In Dreams by Ben on Trumpet and a duet by Samuel Owen and Mr Stuart called Hotel California as well as Havana played by Ivor on guitar. To add to this the audience saw an appearance from the drumming club and the year ten band as well. Skinners did their own piece as well, called to make you feel my love by Adel. Many small ensembles took place too, like a group playing Little do you know, and another playing Turn your face.

Although we all made some mistakes, it sounded brilliant, and everyone had an amazing time. Many Awards were given out, and Skinners even invited some of us to see the national youth orchestra as a thank you. The audience loved it and we received many congratulations.