Musical roots: Vegebule adds new note to a feast of music

Todmorden High School’s annual Christmas concert took an unexpected and quirky twist this year, as its students unveiled the ‘Vegebule’

Friday, 24th December 2010, 2:52 pm

An experimental and original idea created by stand-in Music teacher, Mr Piotravich, the Vegebule involved the school band playing musical instruments crafted from vegetables.

The idea behind this was to promote, and raise awareness of, the schools link with the ‘Incredible Edible’ campaign.

The concert began with a traditional festive feel, with the school choir performing the Christmas standard Once In Royal David’s City.

This was followed by the school band, including both staff and students, performing the more secular tunes of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and a selection from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. There were also excellent solos from violin and flute players, which provided a soothing interlude for the concert.

Teachers were on hand to show off their musical talents, as the staff choir sang a Mozart composition with members of the school’s Sixth Form, which was followed by the Year 7 choir performing an up to date rendition of Midnight.

However, the audience’s attention was soon diverted from the students’ singing talents, and to the vegetables they were picking up from under their seats.

Conducted like an orchestra, the Year 7 pupils recited Little Donkey and Jingle Bells, using carrots, potatoes and broccolis as wind instruments, which had all been tuned to individual notes by a piano for the concert.

The audience was delighted by this quirky idea, and commented on how different and original the concert had been.

The final musical number was a medley of Silent Night and When The Saints Go Marching In, which involved audience participation, and had the whole room on its feet singing.

The evening ended with the Year 11 performing arts students entertaining us with a musical pantomime called Pinafore Pirates, which was perfect festive fun, and a light-hearted end to a varied and entertaining evening.

Afterwards headteacher Helen Plaice commented to me: “This was one of the best concerts I’ve seen at Todmorden High School; such variety and enthusiasm from both staff and students alike. I would like to say a huge thanks to the staff and pupils involved for their efforts, making this such a special concert.”