Development outside of the classroom is a key tenet of the Warminster education.  Our ‘Virtual Choir’ was conceived by Mrs Robinson as one of the initiatives to ensure this lived on during lockdown. I must be honest, I struggled to get my head around the concept at first! Surely singing together demands close proximity?!

As I stepped into Mrs Collishaw’s virtual classroom for the first time (dragging the rest of my reluctant family with me), I had my reservations. However, thanks to Mrs Collishaw’s positive yet gentle touch and Mr Gaz’s enthusiastic ‘can-do’ attitude, the Rogers family soon fell in love with our Virtual Choir. I quickly came to appreciate what an opportunity it was to bring our whole community together. I can’t tell you what a lift it gave me every Friday lunchtime after a gruelling week of remote teaching, home-schooling and generally missing ‘normal life’. To see so many of our pupils, parents and staff all singing together gave me the energy I needed to get through the last afternoon of the week. As Miguel de Cervantes said “Quien canta, sus malas espanta” (He who sings scares away his woes).

Recording our submissions for both ‘Doo Ron Ron’ and ‘Shake the Tree of Life’ was another new experience!  Despite being Welsh, singing doesn’t come naturally to me. However, like so many others in our Warminster community, I put on my headphones, cranked up the volume and sang along with Mrs Collishaw’s comforting voice in my ears. Following a liberal sprinkling of Mr Gaz’s magic fairy dust (and technological wizardry, no doubt…) our contributions were ready Yellow Balloon Films to do their thing – produce an amazingly polished final product.

I recently watched the film ‘Brassed Off’ which made me think about our Choir. Just like Danny’s brass band in this 1996 British film, our choir has been an opportunity for us all to come together during troubled times. I know that others in our Virtual Choir have found the experience to be just as positive. Both Mr Jacob and Anna Mercer have commented that it was the highlight of their week – a sentiment shared by many of us.

Jess Fortune Year 9 (and loyal supporter of the virtual choir) said “I really enjoyed the weekly online choir meetings and practicing and filming our songs.”

I would like to finish with some heartfelt thanks to our Music Department and Andrew from Yellow Balloon Films for their amazing creativity and sheer hard work.  Also, to you, our wonderful Warminster community for pushing yourself out of your comfort zones to prove once again that the Warminster Whole remains greater than the sum of its parts.

Nicola Rogers​, Assistant Head (Pupil Development), Teacher of French & Spanish

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