Pledge Against Prejudice Charity Concert

On Thursday December 2, Jack Hunt hosted the first Pledge Against Prejudice charity concert. The concert was part of our ongoing commitment to raise money for the anti-genocide charity Aegis as well as part of our ongoing commitment to make Jack Hunt, and our community, a place where individuals feel united and proud. The evening was an amazing success where we were lucky enough to see, hear and experience some of the awesome diversity of talent that our school has to offer – from year 7 to year 13, from dance to rap to bhangra to rock. The school had never seen anything quite like it.

By the end of the evening our total for Aegis was up to £750. The evening also marked what has been a very rewarding term for our community. Jack Hunt students entered a competition set up by the council to help design and build a permanent memorial to the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in the city centre over the next year. We entered and we were successful – the winning entries were created by Lewis Tuck (year 9), Josh Flew (Year 13), Toby Abbs (year 11) and Catherine Cook (year 11) – their entries can be read by clicking here. Further, our Pledge Against Prejudice was kick started by the Lessons From Aushwitz Project run by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET). A fantastic national programme offered to all schools nationwide. Sam Tuck and Ayisha Mahmood were the two ambassadors from Jack Hunt that took part. The HET have been so impressed with their efforts that they have been asked to give a small presentation to a select group of MPs at the House of Commons in January – a great honour and something for the students and the school to be immensely proud of.

Back to the evening in question though; it was kicked off by Bhangra beat with a follow on performance from our year 11 GCSE dance group. Kiran Rashid (year 12) then took to the stage to begin the lyricist part of the evening. She was followed by James Gasparutti and Roger Banda (both year 10), then Jamal Samaoli (year 12) gave a fantastic break dance performance and then two former Jack Hunt students, Scott Parker and Aaron Banda, performed. To close off the half Mrs Herds Dance group took to the stage – here we had some of the youngest performers not only performing for the first time but also sporting t-shirts specifically designed for the event by Sommer-Louise Garner in year 10. It was an amazing start to proceedings; the audience was 160 strong and it was applauding and cheering for every act. Every act had written and composed original and unique pieces on the theme of prejudice and racism – some had never performed in front of an audience as large as this and yet all shone.

During the interval Jack Hunt’s young enterprise teams sold refreshments as the audience mixed, mingled and congratulated all those that had performed in the first half – reflecting the true nature of the evening.

The second half was for the bands and the collaborations. Up first was Forgetting Things (Kelsey Brace, Theo Eze & Dan West) – a band made up of students from Kings School and Arthur Mellows. They opened up with another original piece. Music provided by the band and the vocals by Kiran Rashid and Rachel Whitely (year 12). The band then took the set forward and again, was warmly received by an audience that continued to be blown away by the talent and commitment of those in front of them. The last act of the night was the Castros (George Chung, Sam Tuck, William Hodgson & Adam Fox), an all Jack Hunt Band. They opened up with a truly unique collaboration of styles – their indie rock combined with the drumming talents of Bhangra beat. They again took the set forward to an audience who continued to lap everything up. The evening was closed by Bhangra beat as myself and Mrs Cliffe reiterated the purpose of the evening, using the simple, yet powerful, words of a great friend of ours and this school, Zigi Shipper:

“A life filled with hatred is a wasted life”

The evening reflected truthfully what our community, what Jack Hunt and what Peterborough is really all about. This simply could not have happened if it were not for the commitment and passion of all those who performed and the support shown to us by the audience on the night itself. Finally, my thanks must also go to Kerry Cliffe for her support and also the work done by Suzy Fay and her support team in the technical booth on the night (Victoria Genever, Dec McNally, Alex England, Ross Brace, Mollie Tadd, Lizzie Clarke, Priti Pankhania and Anna Hodgson)

My thanks to you all.

Ian Davison