Awards celebrate Sydenham High’s Performing Arts stars

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The 2017 Performing Arts Awards evening at Sydenham High Senior School, which took place on 26 April, proved even bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event. With 180 people attending to celebrate the successes in the Music, Dance and Drama departments over the past year, it was an exciting evening of performances as well as awards for outstanding achievement in the arts.

The evening started with a dynamic performance from the Senior Street Dance Company, choreographed by Kira Bishop from Pineapple Dance Studios, who also attended the dinner. This was shortly followed by the school’s Big Band, who performed highlights from the film Ratatouille, and the Serenata singers who showcased two traditional songs: Pastime With Good Company by Coombes and IIlka Moor (arr Neaum).

The audience were then treated to a duologue from two year 10 actors – Sally Prifti and Sophia Michael – entitled Time, which they had recently performed for their LAMDA exam. The performances concluded with the wonderful Les Miserables Choir who treated guests to a barricade-storming medley of songs from the musical, which wowed the audience.

Performances and dinner over, it was time for the guest of honour, Sydenham High alumna the stage and screen actor Emily Joyce, to speak and present the awards. Emily started by praising the exceptional record of performing arts that has built up at the school over the last ten years. Having explained how in her first professional engagement at Stratford upon Avon she experienced the incredible impact that a play can have on an audience, she offered a strong case for supporting the performing arts. ”They are important because we need people who can express empathy, compassion and understanding of how the world works. They can also distract us or show us our dreams. And they form a multi-billion pound industry which provides many, many jobs.”

Emily then presented the awards which celebrated progress and achievement in Music, Dance and Drama across senior school key stages plus an overall award in each category. Rebecca Kent (year 13) won the Sydenham High School Young Musician of the Year award; Alice Nicholson (year 11) picked up Dancer of the Year and Lili Morgan (year 8) took home the trophy for Actor of the Year. The top award of the evening went to Lauren Lawrence (year 10) who received the Kathryn Pullen Performance Award for outstanding all round achievement in Music, Dance and Drama.

“There have been so many highlights across the performing arts this year: from our tenth anniversary dance show in December to the Shakespeare for Schools festival last term and our recent involvement in UDance London and at the Women Making Waves project at the Maritime Museum’s Queen’s House, plus so much more in between,” said Head of Drama Laura Yandell. “Congratulations to all of our award winners and to all students who have taken part in any of our performing arts events this year and worked hard in lessons. We look forward to celebrating again next year.”

The Awards dinner was kindly sponsored by School Travel Organiser magazine, the market leading provider of quality information on curriculum linked school travel and out-of-the-classroom learning experiences.  It is also the organiser of the annual School Travel Awards. www.schooltravelorganiser.com