The ongoing Covid-19 restrictions mean that live music performances – and most international travel – are off the cards for now.
But pupils at Breadalbane Academy in Aberfeldy have found a unique way to combine the two for a special end of year performance.
The school band has produced a rendition of Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr Blue Sky and – with some help from green screen technology – have travelled across the globe to do so.
Samantha Thorne, principal teacher of performing arts at the school, said: “We used a green screen and it’s a really funny video.
“They recorded their parts individually and they used the tech equipment we have which is quite good quality.
“It feels like such an achievement that we have done this.”
The theme of the video was summer holidays and sees the pupils performing in locations ranging from London to Rio de Janeiro.
Fifth year pupil Evie Leslie said: “People haven’t had the the chance to have a holiday so it was all based around that theme.
“We had a lot of fun with it. We dressed up and went outside around the school with the inflatable animals, it was very relaxed and summery.
Abby Drummond, 15, added: “We all discussed it and agreed that it would be summery and lighthearted.”
Taking part in learning and performing the music, as well as editing together the final performances, was a welcome distraction for the pupils who have had a tough year due to the pandemic.
Hazel Martin, who played the tenor sax and the flute for the performance, said: “It was during the exam time so it gave us a break from the stresses by being able to do something more expressive and fun.
We dressed up and went outside around the school with the inflatable animals, it was very relaxed and summery.”
Evie Leslie, fifth year pupil
“We all have a really good sound as a band and it was actually much better than I expected.”
Johnny Anderson, who was on the piano, added: “It was really fun. I got to look at the more technology side of it, I could edit it and make different sounds.
“It was nice to do something well. Obviously it’s not the same as being in the same room as everyone but it’s better than doing nothing.”
A performance for the community
The virtual performance is taking the place of the usual end of year concert, something which has been curtailed because of the pandemic.
And it’s hoped the innovative production can bring a bit of joy to the wider community at the end of a school year that has missed out on the fun music can bring.
Ms Thorne said: “In an average school year we would always aim for a Christmas concert, a summer concert and the school band would play at the prize giving.
“These are things that are in most school calendars each year so you always have something to prepare for and for the parents to come and see.
“When we were able to have individual lessons, it was moving moment but what’s missing is our school community getting to come and listen to us.”
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