LVS Oxford would like to congratulate sister school LVS Hassocks for a fantastic performance at the national Autism's Got Talent event in London earlier this month.
Seven learners from LVS Hassocks gave the performance of their young lives, entertaining over 600 people in London’s Mermaid Theatre as part of Autism’s Got Talent. The national event saw a show from a select group of performers from all over Britain, chosen from many entries to showcase their ability at this celebration of autistic creativity.
With such a huge audience waiting in anticipation, the first act on was always going to face a tricky test, but the Hassocks Allstars Blues Band did not disappoint and passed with flying colours by producing a fantastic rendition of House of the Rising Sun by the Animals. It was a far cry from playing to family and friends at school events previously, and a baptism of fire to play such a huge venue for their first public performance.
William, who played a saxophone solo during the performance, said: “I want to thank Joe, Lucy, Ellis, Cameron, Callum and Rhys for an amazing night – I will remember it forever, we all did a fantastic job”. Lucy added “I can’t believe it has come to an end – it has been such a good day and we smashed it out there!”
The success of the Hassocks Allstars Blues Band has also had a positive effect around the school, with one learner amazing his mum by wanting to come along and be part of the experience, the first autism related event he has ever been to. Another learner there to support his friends said their performance was “truly inspiring”.
In true rock star fashion the Hassocks Allstars Blues Band didn’t forget their fans and made time on the day to pose with well-wishers who included Robin Windsor, one of the Strictly Come Dancing performers, and Jake Wood (Max Branning from Eastenders). Jake congratulated the band on social media afterwards, saying their performance “was brilliant” and has asked that the band play the Eastenders theme tune at the event next year!
Head of Centre at LVS Hassocks Kira Brabenec said: “It was a fabulous evening and I felt honoured to see our learners, and all the other acts, perform. Our band were professional, calm and polished and were a real credit to themselves and the school. Paul Selkirk and David Troubridge did a fantastic job getting the learners ready and deserve a lot of thanks for helping them reach that level of performance”.
Music provides an ideal way for LVS Hassocks to develop the social and emotional wellbeing of learners on the autistic spectrum, as they can find it hard to communicate but music is a language in which they find it easy to relate to each other and express themselves. Teacher Paul Selkirk has overseen the growth of music at the school, from three students learning one song just four years ago to the school’s thriving range of six bands now who practice every Friday. He said: “I couldn’t be more proud of them today. As professional and competent as many a band who have been gigging for years, rising to the challenge and putting on a great show. They are a testament to what autistic children can do when given the chance to shine, which is something we always encourage at LVS Hassocks across all disciplines. “
The event has given the band a huge confidence boost and a taste for the big time, and they have expressed an interest in performing more gigs to wider audiences.
To view an album of fantastic pictures from the event click here http://on.fb.me/1Pgpg1a (you do not need to log in to view the album).
With some exceptional musicians also at LVS Oxford and plenty of other talent on show at our school, maybe next year will see both LVS Oxford and LVS Hassocks taking Autism's Got Talent by storm?
Many of the tasks the students undertake will help build competencies in citizenship, relating to others, managing situations and working as part of a team - all key to being fulfilled and employable adults.