Wednesday 1st April 2009 by C. Freeman
Singer James Barry, has been awarded the BW Factor 09 title after performing a spine-tingling rendition of Hallelujah, to a packed auditorium. The Year 7 student was one of 13 acts that performed at the sell-out event on Saturday night.
The talent show, now in its third year, featured singers, musicians, dancers and bands and it was a particularly hard-fought contest with all the participants giving spirited and highly individual performances. The judging panel comprised teachers Mr Sammy, Mr Bidwell and Mr Wilson, along with Governor Debbie Cassie, Shivon De Freitas, Vice Chair of Parents in Partnership and Daryl Vasey from Corby Business Academy.
The show kicked off with 'The Academy Dancers' putting on an energetic routine before the acts were introduced by the host, Lesley Ann Parker. First up was William Downey who sang a heartfelt 'Somewhere' from West Side Story. He was followed by Katie Cridge who played a haunting version of 'Baker Street' on saxophone. Then came Hannah McQue's delicate vocal rendition of 'Beautiful' before Jonathan Lindsay took to the piano to flawlessly execute Elton John's 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.'
James Barry then performed his powerful version of 'Hallelujah' followed by Shivani Mistry with her energetic and expressive Bollywood dance routine. The final act in the first half was band, The Sound Thieves comprising Sinjin Bulbring, Jamie Pyper, Christy Bullock and Lee Stobbart, who put on a vibrant act with Christy on vocals.
Performances during the second half were equally as mesmerising. It kicked off literally with Steph and the Supremes (aka Stephanie Ward, Imogen Mann and Olivia Hogan) in platforms and flares singing Super Trouper from Mamma Mia. This was followed by George Robinson who played the sublime 'Le Onde' composed by pianist Ludovico Einaudi.
Rebecca Watkins then took to the stage for her beautiful rendition of When You Believe, originally by Mariah Carey. Cosmic Immigrants also revived an old classic with a spirited take on Paranoid by Black Sabbath with Arthur Mazendame on vocals, accompanied by bandmates, Alex Byrne, Oliver Griffiths and Michael O'Hara. Jen Dobson then gave a polished and minimal performance of Hero by Enrique Iglesias while the show was rounded off by Hannah Ellwood and Lauren Butler whose unusual vocal and piano duet brought the show to an exciting close.
The judges conferred while the Academy Dancers once again strutted their stuff and then it was time to announce the winners. Hannah and Lauren won £20 and the accolade of third place, while second place (and £30) went to Cosmic Immigrants. That left the first prize and £50 which was awarded to James. He reprised his performance during the assemblies on Monday, so that those students who couldn't get tickets would get a taste of what they had missed.
The show, which was organised by Parents in Partnership, proved an entertaining showcase of our students' talents. Thanks go to the performers, Parents in Partnership, the judges, and all those involved in the organisation including Mr Jackson, Edward Lockwood and Tom Hoier who provided technical support for rehearsals and on the night.
Teacher, Mr Sammy said: 'The event was a total sell out and people were pleading for extra tickets. It was an amazing and truly stunning evening. All the hard work that everyone did in planning and rehearsing for the event really paid off and it was so hard to choose between the acts; they were all of such a high standard giving really polished performances.'