On Thursday 14th April a group of 45 pupils represented the Academy in this years’ Rock Challenge competition at the Hull Ice Arena- achieving first place, and being crowned Hull Rock Challenge Senior Champions 2016!
The unforgettable day began early with staff and pupils meeting at 8.00am with a buzz of excitement for the day ahead. The ‘award-winning’ stage crew had to load the set into the van, as the ‘champion’ performers made last minute preparations. There was an electric atmosphere on the journey to the Ice Arena with chanting, cheering and singing from the 45-strong Rock Challenge Team.
This energy was maintained on arrival to the Ice Arena and throughout the day, particularly during the morning and afternoon production meetings. Pupils were in great spirits throughout the full day, which resulted in the Academy being awarded the ‘Spirit of Rock Challenge Award’; an award nominated by the other competing schools to the school/academy which they felt had been the most-friendly and supportive team throughout the day! The morning production meeting (warm up) involved pupils dancing to a remix of the classics including; ‘The Macarana’, ‘The YMCA’ and ‘The Cha Cha Slide’. In the afternoon production meeting it was the turn of the staff to get on the stage, dancing to various dance anthems, including the famous air guitar competition- which Miss Brown has won three years in a row!!! Throughout the day, pupils were supportive to other schools during their final rehearsals, as well as working hard on their own performance.
Then came the nervous wait, building towards the performance. Winifred Holtby Academy were drawn last out of the competing schools, which meant that the wait was longer. As the nervous tension built, pupils waited anxiously, but excitedly, in the wings as the host announced: ‘Please welcome to the stage with their theme (‘Only One Life’), Winifred Holtby Academy!’ What followed was 8 minutes of adrenaline fuelled performance, which demonstrated the talent of pupils at Winifred Holtby Academy.
After having received very positive feedback from the judges, who said the performance was ‘truly amazing’, the anxious wait began as the judges tallied their scores! Then came the awards ceremony with Winifred Holtby scooping 10 Awards of Excellence! Finally, as the tension in the Ice Arena built, the moment had arrived…The host announced: 'The winner of Rock Challenge 2016…is…Winifred Holtby Academy!' As the intro music of the performance (‘The Clapping Song’) echoed around the arena, so did the applause from hundreds in the audience, as well as the chanting, cheering and singing that we had experienced on the journey to the Ice Arena in the morning. There were lots of celebratory tears from performers and their families, as pupils from Winifred Holtby Academy held the trophy aloft, to round off a truly amazing day!
The pupils have worked so hard over the last 8 months and have done themselves, their families and everyone at the Academy proud. They will now represent Hull in the Northern Grand Final at Grimsby Auditorium on Friday 1st July. This event will see them compete against schools from Northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland!
The 10 Awards of Excellence were awarded in the following categories:
- Set Design and Function
- Stage Use
- Stage Crew
- Spirit of Rock Challenge
- Performance Skill
As well as two additional awards for:
- Student Leadership
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Plus overall first place!