Powell ‘House at Home’ Event

The pupils and staff of Powell House welcomed friends and family to Downside this weekend to celebrate the annual ‘House at Home’ event.

There really was an “At Home” feel to the occasion, with the boys’ white carnation buttonholes adding to the House’s sense of identity. It was lovely to have so many families join us in the Powell pews for Mass. Thanks go to Derek Quinlan who discreetly looked after all the boys who had offered to do readings or prayers, helping them try to conquer their nerves, and ensuring they were going to the right place at the right time. Several Powell boys were in the Mixed Chamber Choir, who sang beautifully throughout the Service, with Julian Siemens making his debut as Cantor for the psalm.

After Mass and coffee, we gathered in the Gasquet Hall for an official warm welcome from Mr Dolman, followed by the House entertainment. What an amazing eclectic range of musical talents were on display – lovely unaccompanied violin from Pearse Hegarty, a beautiful rendition by Alex Harwood of his prize winning solo from House Music, then Seb Hall  transported us to a smoky 30’s nightclub with his wonderfully expressive soulful saxophone playing of a Latin Tango. Next came Nick Hobbs’s spirited drum solo, Julian Siemen’s jazzy piano playing then another opportunity to hear his glorious singing of Haydn’s Benedictus, and finally the multi-talented Owain Daley transported us all to a Parisian Café as he played his accordion – we could almost taste the red wine that would be on offer later. “New boys” Pablo and Joe gave their entertaining thoughts of the term so far, and the Heads of House gave an amusing insight into the delights (if that is the correct word) of being a Powell prefect. The Powell Barbershop sang their version of The Vultures’ Song and the entertainment ended with a performance of the House Song; two items from the Jungle Book – “I Wan’na Be Like You” and “The Bare Necessities”, conducted by Felix Hobbs, with Nick on the drums and Mr MacNamara providing an inspirationally upbeat jazzy piano accompaniment. Parents who have been before knew that I meant it when I advised them to pay attention, as it would be their turn to sing next. And yes, we concluded the entertainment with an encore, with absolutely everyone joining in singing “The Bare Necessities” again, with possibly more gusto than musical accuracy, but great smiles from all. Powell is very grateful to Mr MacNamara for all his help with the music.

After this, there was another opportunity to mingle with House tutors and staff and other parents over drinks, followed by a most delicious Sunday roast lunch – thank you very much to the Catering department.

Boys could then show their parents around Powell, and, if they wanted could go on out for tea, as being boys they were hungry again.

Many thanks to everyone who made the event such a success – the staff, the prefects, the visiting parents, grandparents and siblings and, most of all, the boys, who were a huge credit to the House throughout their At Home.

Miss Sue Moody,
Assistant House Mistress – Powell House