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Ballard Headmaster’s Blog – Music at Michaelmas

December 17, 2012

carol2012cThe Autumn Term has finished with a fine musical feast which included an informal Christmas concert, several recitals and a moving carols and mince pies afternoon for residents of local care homes. One visitor was over 100 years of age and for another it was her first visit out of her care home for over two years! The junior pupils who hosted this event were very welcoming and caring towards their elderly guests and enjoyed serving them refreshments before the singing began. The School then enjoyed its own carol service for the whole community – pupils from Nursery to Year 11 (with a few nursery children putting in suitable sound effects during ‘Away in a Manger’!) coming together with staff from all parts of Ballard.
The term culminated in the traditional Carol Service in Christchurch Priory which was packed with pupils, staff, parents, grandparents and alumni. There were several choirs on song – Pre-Prep, Junior, Senior, Combined and Staff – along with a fine musical accompaniment including a harp and a drum kit. Readers from Pre-Prep through the Prep School and up to the Senior Prefects re-told the story of Christmas from the Bible, from modern readings and from poems.
The new Priory church minister, Revd Richard Partridge, started the service by asking the pupils if they knew why this particular carol concert might be special for him. We wondered if it was because this was his first carol service at the Priory or even because Ballard is a school with a strong family emphasis and clear Christian foundation. However, after a pause, one Year 2 pupil said loud and clear, ‘Is it because we are a private school?’ This nearly brought the ‘house’ down! Revd Partridge then told us that he was a former pupil of one of our constituent schools in the 1980s, Edinburgh House. We promptly invited him to the Alumni event the next day!
As we go on our way for the holidays, we are reminded of the care home resident for whom her visit to Ballard was so special – and also of the Priory service which so clearly included so many from our community. This is a time of year for family, friends and even strangers to come together to enjoy each others’ company, to consider ‘the reason for the season’ and to have refreshment and rest. Merry Christmas to all and a very happy New Year!

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