November/December 2011 – Winter Project Week: Helix and In Accord

Winter Project Week – Helix and In Accord


November 30th/December 1st 2011

The Winter Project Week linked with Jersey Tourism to give academy students the opportunity to perform for the opening of the
‘Fête dé Noué’.  Students from the Junior and Lower Intermediate departments formed a large fifty-strong Samba group, led by the visiting Helix Percussion Duo of Louise Morgan and Catherine Ring.  The first day was spent rehearsing, and learning the various rhythms and calls needed to create the Samba.  Students from the Upper Intermediate and Advanced departments were led by the In Accord violin/accordion duo of Harriet Mackenzie and Milos Milivojevic, spending the first day learning a Ukranian Bell Carol, and then dividing into smaller ensembles to bring Polish Christmas carols to life.

Crowd gathering at the Fete de Noue

The second day gave some time for final rehearsals and preparations before the start of the event itself at the Royal Square.  Whilst it did not snow this year, the rain was absolutely torrential!  This meant that the In Accord led group were only able to perform their Ukranian Bell Carol as it was too wet even to get the instruments out of their cases!

In Accord performing with students

However, the Christmas Samba went ahead in full force, and the children were lit up with glowing bracelets and drums decorated with tinsel.  They led the hundred-strong brave audience through town to the Spirit of Christmas market at the Weighbridge Place, bringing vibrancy, colour and sheer noise (!), leading very effectively to the switching on of the christmas tree lights and the firework display which followed to end the whole event.  An absolutely wonderful time was had by all despite the weather!

Christmas Samba!

(all photographs courtesy of the Jersey Evening Post)

During their stay on the island, the two visiting groups also gave concerts at Le Rocquier School, Victoria College and VCP, performing to over six hundred children during the course of the visit.  Our thanks go to both Jersey Tourism and the Jersey Arts Trust for their support of this event.