Gus Unger-Hamilton – Old Elean and member of the global indie rock band, alt-J, returned to King’s to adjudicate our 2023 House Music Competition!

Gus, whose musical prowess started at King’s when he joined the school as a member of The Choristers of Ely Cathedral Choir, was able to squeeze in judging the annual contest on October 19th, before he and his bandmates head off on their tour of the United States.

The atmosphere in the Hayward Theatre was electric, as students from Years 9 to 13 took to the stage to perform to Gus, their peers, and their teachers. As Old Eleans of all generations will tell you, House Music is about so much more than singing and dancing. It is about friendship, camaraderie, community, and that spirit for which King’s is renowned.

After much deliberation, Osmond House were announced as the winners of the Ensemble performances, and Hill House were crowned the winners of the Unison performances; and overall!

Sophie Lane, our Performing Arts Coordinator, said: “For many of our pupils, this was their first experience of a full Senior House Music event, and it did not disappoint! It was a wonderful evening of energetic and joyful performances, with students showing a great level of support for each other. Each House showed a remarkable level of commitment, and this year was no doubt our biggest competition to date.”

We know that standing up on stage and performing to your peers is incredibly daunting for some, so we are proud of every single student who took part. Congratulations too to everyone involved backstage – Housemasters and Housemistresses, Staging, Lighting, Sound, Health and Safety – a huge team effort.

Jonathan Shaw, Head of King’s Ely Senior, said: “Without doubt, the highlight of the school year for many pupils is the House Music Competition. It is an evening where all pupils are involved in performing; it is a fantastic celebration of music, dance, and House spirit. We were privileged to have Gus as our adjudicator, prior to leaving for his band’s US tour. He had the near impossible job of choosing the winners. Congratulations to the Houses that triumphed, but the overarching take away is that every House entertained magnificently. Mr Porter-Thaw summed up the evening as one of ‘musical joy’. I have run out of hyperboles, but I hope you get the picture. Congratulations to everyone involved and thank you to all the organisers, both staff and pupils. There is a tremendous amount of work involved in the planning of this event and the preparation of the performances.”

A live recording of the performances has been shared with members of our school community. Look out for more content from the event on our social media platforms over the coming days!

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