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‘Such a thrill’ as House Music showcases boys’ talent to sell-out crowd

Tonbridge’s House Music Competition returned to the stage as a fully live show, with around 200 boys demonstrating their talent and versatility before a sell-out audience at the School’s EM Forster Theatre.  

Last year’s performances had to be pre-recorded, due to Covid restrictions, before being shown on YouTube, but this year it was back to the traditional live event as all 12 Houses competed for the sought-after House Music Cup on Friday 15 October. 

Boys performed one amplified and one acoustic song, playing their own arrangements of classic tracks. These included innovative acoustic arrangements of Khalid’s Silence, The Script’s Rain and Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.    

The competition was judged on various criteria, including standard and variety of performance, musical creativity and age range of performers. 

Whitworth was crowned the overall winner, with all results listed below.

Mark Forkgen, the School’s Director of Music, said: “It was such a thrill to have House Music back in its usual format and for everyone to experience the buzz of live performance again. This year’s competition had an eclectic mix of songs, all manipulated to form individual house performances, showcasing a wealth of talent.”  

Parents were able to watch via YouTube, and the show was also streamed live to boys at the School, many viewing it on the giant screens in Big School and the Barton Science Centre. 

This year’s competition adjudicator was William Bersey, Director of Music at The King’s School Canterbury. A Tonbridge staff band took to the stage to entertain the audience while the final judging was taking place.

A ‘crew’ of Tonbridge boys was also involved in the stage management of the event, providing sound, filming and technical support.

House Music Competition 2021: Results
Winner of the House Music Cup: Whitworth
Runners Up: Oakeshott House and Welldon House
Cullen Award for Best Acoustic Item: Manor House for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
The Paul Gamblin Award for Best Amplified Item: Welldon House for The Caves of Altamira
Best Arrangement: Sam Lomax (MH5) for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road