After the frustrating hiatus in 2020 when House Harmony and House Shout were cancelled due to COVID-19, it was both a joy and a thrill for the pupils to re-ignite this long-standing and popular traditional Marlburian event. Despite the missing year, or perhaps because of it, anticipation and excitement was particularly potent, making for an engaging and enjoyable spectacle whether you were fortunate enough to be watching it in the Memorial Hall or via live stream in House.
The preliminary round for the House Harmony took place earlier than usual in the term giving the performers the benefit of a little more time before putting the final polish to their acts. It worked a treat, with an exponential improvement in all performances, and created quite a headache for our excellent adjudicator, Mr Jeremy Nicklin.
In the end, there were several houses in the mix. In fact, there could have been as many as four runners-up, but finally Mr Nicklin chose Morris and Elmhurst as his shortlist for the runners-up position and placed C1 as the outright winner with a splendid performance of California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and The Papas, superbly led by Ed B (U6).
A week later, we then moved on to House Shout which, as usual, was fiercely contested in a mouth-watering display of energy and colour from all contestants. As always, there were three categories of prizes: Boys’ Houses, Girls’ Houses and Mixed Houses, and one overall winner. Once again, this proved an extremely challenging decision for Mr Nicklin, who finally selected Barton Hill, Ivy House and Preshute, with Ivy House as the overall winners for 2021. House Shout remains beautifully undiminished as a passionate and cherished event, but perhaps the biggest winner this year was the spirit of inclusivity and generous support offered by pupils towards each other, after the rather fractured existence of the last 18 months.
Congratulations then to each and every pupil who took part in what was a much-needed and uplifting occasion on the eve of half-term.