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The Swan Blog- Issue 9. It’s Showtime

The Swan Players at Priestly Smith School Birmingham
The Swans attending the end of term performance including: Robyn Lund (viola), ex Priestly Smith student Vinny Motta, Amy Littlewood (violin), Eleanor Turner (harp), Lisa Marie Houghton-Reade, Tim Farmer (percussion) and April Fredericks (soprano)

We join Lisa and the team at Priestley Smith’s end of year show. This is the last in the series of Lisa’s blog for now. 

Dated: 23 July 2021

Amy (violin), Robyn (viola), Tim (percussion), Ellie (harp), Louise (oboe) and April (soprano) and myself joined the students at Priestley Smith School, on Friday 16th July, to support the pupils with visual impairments. The students finally had the opportunity to show their classmates what they had achieved musically over the last few months. 



We all missed Chris (cello),who had been  instrumental in the project, but unfortunately had been “pinged” the previous day and had to isolate. Despite this, his students took part, all having had a fun time playing on the  instruments kindly loaned from Birmingham Music Hub.

(oboe) andApril (soprano) came together at Priestley Smith School on Friday16th July to support the pupils with visual impairments show their peers at the school what they had achieved musically over the last few months. We all missed Chris (cello),whohad really been instrum ntal in the project, he’dbeen “pinged” the day before thanks to covid 19 and was havingto isolate.The students he’d been teaching cello to took part anyway though and everyone had a brilliant, fun time playing the instruments the Birmingham Music Hub had lent the students for this project.

Staff, students, a few guests and our budding musicians all gathered outside in the school playground, which had been set out with chairs and gazebos, so the final performance could be watched safely.


The School were also celebrating their Headteacher, Helen Porter, who was retiring at the end of the academic year as well as their end of term.The students were all confident with what they were doing and were really keen to play their instruments.

They played: 

  • Free choice
  • Cajun Crawl
  • Open String Boogie
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Latino Ready
  • Steady Bow Symphony
  • Red House
  • We’re Going to the Woods

Latino is a new composition that Vinny Motta, who took part in the project last season, composed, as he is now studying at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and eagerly returned to help with the project this academic year. As a severely visually impaired person myself, I am so proud of how much these young people have achieved with the support of our musicians. Music is an area us VI people can excel at and enjoy as a hobby or take up as a career.



A massive thank you goes to Mr McGonagle, the music teacher at Priestley Smith, The Birmingham Music Hub, the Trusts and Foundations who have helped fund this project and everyone else who was involved particularly the students. 



Next week we chat with Artistic Director David Le Page about what’s coming up for The Swan. 

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