Friday night was a wonderful success. The farewell concert, organised by governors Mrs Lydia Roe and Mr David Cardle, held in honour of Mr Marple’s retirement, was hugely entertaining and moving.
We were all stunned by the quality of the voices of the students who volunteered to sing in the first half of the concert. There really is a huge amount of talent at Stoke.
We were then treated to a solo from Old Stokesian professional musician, Peter Clegg Hepworth, who sang one of his own compositions and with which we all joined in. He then introduced Matt Cardle (X factor winner 2010) who sang the most extraordinary rendition of Chandelier.
Following Matt, the school band, 19335, not as it is now but as it was in the 1990s, reformed. Peter and Matt were joined by among others, the Boon twins, Tom and David, Peter Ayello Wright and Tom Peachey, and sang a rendition of Another Brick in the Wall. Matt’s guitar solo was extraordinary but then he was upstaged (in the nicest possible way) by Mr Marple riffing on the grand piano. I’m not sure whether Roger Waters would approve of a jazz interlude to his greatest hit but it was brilliant moment.
At the end of the concert all the students rejoined the stage to sing a rendition of Abba’s ‘Thank you for the music’ to send Mr Marple on his way.
It was one of the best evenings I have spent at Stoke and I believe it made real, for all the students there, the idea that you really can achieve your dreams when your teachers believe in you.