“Jamming for Reading Spots” by Jack Chiu

I visited Ghana in late March 2018 on the first Easter trip of the year, and during my time there I was amazed with the Ghanaians and their exceptional passion for music and dance. It was almost like they couldn’t help but enjoy every waking moment when there was something to dance to or listen to! For instance, one of my favourite moments of the trip was witnessing a ‘debate’ between some of the Brighton College and Messiah International School pupils that quickly escalated into a full-scale dance-off in a matter of minutes. I was in awe at their sheer love for music and dance, and I must admit that their enthusiasm was wickedly contagious and has definitely had an impact on me and many others.

Before the Ghana trip, I had already planned to put together a charity concert with two of my friends in the L6th to raise money for Reading Spots. It was a slightly wishy-washy concept that we had at the time, as we had doubts about whether it would be practical to devote so much effort to a project near exam time, but after being inspired by the fiery spirit of their culture and being touched by their stories I simply knew I had to make our idea into a reality without waiting a second longer. Our musical “three-man” was formed by a string of coincidences that led from one thing to the next, from initially meeting at Fenwick Fashion Show rehearsals to performing at Boarder’s Got Talent about a week later. But as we progressed we realised that in order to make the most of our efforts we should focus on creating something positive, and so that’s how we came up with the idea for the boarder’s charity concert to raise money for Reading Spots.

The event was held on a Tuesday evening in the Simon Smith Café, and over 40 people came to enjoy the show (and eat the donuts). We managed to raise over 240 pounds from the evening, whilst also being able to raise awareness for a fantastic cause and hopefully inspire other pupils around school to have the courage to apply their own talents in making a positive change. It was an almost surreal experience performing modern pop songs in front of people whilst dressed in traditional Ghanaian clothes and seeing our Chemistry teacher Mr. Shoham reveal his jazz mastery on the piano was an absolute joy, something which I, and many other people, only discovered about him on the Ghana trip. I have learned more in the last 3 months than I could have ever wished for, and I hope that I can continue to accomplish good things for Reading Spots whilst encouraging other people to do the same!