Creativity Shines at The White Horse Federation’s Art Festival
The White Horse Federation Art Festival is an annual event that delivers fun and excitement for our schools, pupils, and teachers. This year’s festival took place on Wednesday, and it didn’t disappoint!
Held at Swindon’s beautiful Town Gardens, the event brought together schools from across the federation, with a variety of creative activities and workshops for them to get involved in.
Enjoying Morning Workshops
We were delighted to welcome a number of supremely talented artists to the festival. They held a variety of workshops that the children absolutely loved getting involved in. The workshops included:
Boomwhackers, Run by Jen Bamford
Children learned the song "Invincible" by Muse, using a variety of rhythms as well as chromatic boomwhackers and plenty of percussion.
Boomwhackers, Run by Kiron Basu
This workshop taught the children all about the rhythmic timbres and beats of boomwhacker. Creating energising sounds and festival vibes, they went boomwhacker crazy!
Samba, Run by Helen Toole
By becoming part of a samba bateria, children found their inner rhythm king. They experienced an array of rhythms and timbres and discovered how to work together to create the distinctive festival sound of samba reggae.
Samba, Run by Luke Winton from the Ministry of Samba
The sound of beating drums boomed out in the heart of Swindon as children brought the infectious rhythm of Brazilian samba to Town Gardens. Whistles, drums, and percussion instruments were all used to create a samba vibe.
Wood Art, Run by Zoe Aldred
Pupils enjoyed working with natural resources to produce nail and string pictures, nail hedgehogs, log slice boats, and stick pictures. They were at one with nature while making beautiful works of art.
Junk Orchestra, Run by Marco Christuardo
Using junk-based instruments, pupils celebrated music. Despite being made from recycled paper, plastic, and tin, the instruments sounded great in the hands of our pupils.
Forest Art, Run by Helen Cooper
This workshop covered a collection of projects involving forest material, including God’s eyes, dreamcatchers, fairy wands, and weaving. Children used natural resources to create and inspire.
Drumming, Run by Kim Gibbons from Bang To Rites
Bang To Rites was formed in the summer of 2013 by a group of friends passionate about drumming. After playing a range of drums and creating melodies of different rhythmic styles and beats, our children became passionate about drumming too.
Junk Modelling, Run by Mark Garnett, the Red Van Man
Mark arrived in a red van full of junk. He claimed to bring what we needed to build models, and challenged our children to use the junk to produce some great works of art. Luckily, they were up to the test.
Djembe, Run by Andy Wraight from Swindon Music Service
According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke dje”, which translates to “everyone gather in peace” and defines the drum’s purpose. Our children peacefully gathered with Andy to produce wonderful tunes while learning how to link drum beats with rhythm.
An Afternoon of Music and Melodies
After a morning filled with exciting activities, it was time to make some music. Students from the federation performed as well as a number of talented guests. Acts included:
- Marco Christuardo from the Junk Orchestra playing with children from Haydon Wick, Zouch Academy, St Mary & All Saints, and The Manor.
- White Clouds, Calamity, State of Mind, and 3 Old Penguins — all from Swindon Young Musicians.
- Swindon Music Service’s Rock and Pop Roadshow.
- The cast of Fame from The Ridgeway played a medley of Fame songs. Ridgeway students also performed "Halcyon".
- The Croft recorder club, who played "EBGBs" and "Mike Oliver’s Tank Top".
- St Mary & All Saints school choir, who sang a range of beautiful songs.
- Children from The White Horse Federation, who performed a delightful rendition of Where Is the Love?
- The Croft school choir, who played "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Paloma Faith, and "1,000 Years" by Christina Perri.
There was even time for Swindon Zumba to perform a Latin-inspired dance with the wonderful Hender Corredor-Escalante.
A lot of hard work went into organising the festival, but the looks of joy on everyone’s faces made it all worthwhile. Here's some of the feedback we received:
“Our pupils truly enjoyed themselves and really felt a part of The White Horse Federation community. We would definitely love to take part in future events.”
“Our children came back full of beans — they really enjoyed it. Thank you for the hard work involved in organising the event for our children.”
“it’s a thank you to the students who bring the magic with their willingness to embrace the day.”
“Oh my word, what a fabulous day! Excited children, stunning setting, and fun had by all.”
“I have heard from the teachers, children, and SLT who attended that it was a brilliant day. Well done to everyone involved.”
“Wow! I thought it was fantastic and such a great opportunity. No wonder the children were buzzing.”
An Important TWHF Event
The Art Festival has become a crucial part of The White Horse Federation’s calendar for a variety of reasons. Primarily, it helps us to connect pupils and teachers from across our schools and encourage them to network, bond, and work together. However, it is also a fantastic opportunity for students to explore their artistic side and discover just how creative they can be.
The atmosphere at this year’s festival was electric! The children were all full of enthusiasm and excitement, which we hope will inspire them to continue their creativity upon their return to the classroom.
The White Horse Federation would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s Art Festival. From the performers and workshop hosts to the children and members of the public who attended, everyone made sure it was a day to remember. We’d also like to thank Councillor Cathy Martyn for taking the time out of her busy day to come along.
We are already looking forward to next year’s TWHF Art Festival, and we can’t wait to see all of our lovely pupils at our next federation-wide event.