Treloar’s welcomes a very special guest
It’s not every day that you get to perform for royalty – but that was the treat in store for our students as they welcomed our Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, to campus to conduct the official opening of our newly refurbished Hall.
Why performance matters
Performance is a huge part of life at Treloar’s as our Director of Music, Jocelyn Watkins explains; “being able to perform and take part in music is vital for all children and young people. It is a great tool for self-expression, for communication, for building confidence and self-esteem and it is a universal language that everyone can enjoy.”
However, we have been battling with our performance schedule as the Hall was becoming untenable for the increasingly complex needs of our students. But, with the kind support of donors, including the Constable Education Trust who donated £100,000, the old hall has undergone a full refurbishment!
The refurbishment included new accessible stage ramps, automatically controlled doors, installation of a new air-conditioning system to support students who are unable to regulate their body temperature, a new sound system that will particularly benefit students who use communication devices, and of course dramatically improving the aesthetics of the hall to help bring performances to life!
So to mark the completion of the refurbishment, Her Royal Highness came to officially open the Hall, cutting the ceremonial ribbon and even taking to the stage herself to join in a very special bell ringing performance.
Seven year old Zoe performed a solo to Abide With Me. Despite the nerves, Zoe delivered the performance of her life and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Led by our Director of Music Jocelyn Watkins, Zoe’s classmates accompanied her with bell ringing – even using switch operated bells to ensure the performance was inclusive for all students and guests to enjoy.
You can watch a special pre-recorded version of Zoe’s performance here.
Ms Watkins chose Abide With Me and said of the choice; “Abide with Me is a beautiful melody with lovely harmonies and a melancholic air to suit the theme of Remembrance, such an important part of our yearly calendar.
The lyrics for Abide with Me are quite complicated and Zoe had to practise very hard to learn them, which she did at home and at school.
“Songs like this are excellent for teaching as they are so well structured, often simple and repetitive.”
As the needs of Treloar’s students increase in complexity, the accessibility of their buildings and activities continues to be vital. Treloar’s are delighted to have refurbished their performance hall and are looking forward to holding many more performances! We give a huge thanks to our kind donors for their support and for making this refurbishment possible.
Ryan Campbell, Treloar’s CEO says; “We are honoured to have the longstanding Patronage of Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex whose kindness and support is so apparent when she visits our campus.
Our students were delighted to perform for her and to sit alongside her on stage. It means so much to all of us to share such a special relationship with Her Royal Highness who is such a wonderful advocate for the contribution our students and other disabled people can make within society.”