Rock Challenge is a national Competition where the pupils create an eight-minute dance-drama based performance on a theme of their choice. They have to create the set, props, costumes, hair and make-up, lighting, choreography, drama and pick the soundtrack that they want to use to put their theme and key message across.
Kathleen Cameron leads the KHS Rock Challenge project and co-ordinates a massive team of volunteers who all help to get the 35 KHS pupils ready to perform in front of a large audience at Eden Court in Inverness. This year the journey began back in October 2013. The team picked their title and theme of their performance love and loss and together explored emotions and the themes of war, love and bereavement.
Once the theme had been picked chorography started to help tell their story supported by Dance Teacher Mrs Jo Muculloch. Meanwhile back stage Mr Scott Sangster (Youth Worker) and PC Stuart MacKellaig (Community Police Officer) worked with the with stage crew to produce the props and stage set. We were also grateful to Mrs Jane Macdonald and Ms Tanya O’Brian (both parents) who came on board and supported wherever they were needed! There was a slight disaster at the start of the year when Jo Muculloch left Kingussie to go to Dubai (nothing to do with Rock Challenge) but luckily Miss Carrie Ann Wield (a local volunteer) stepped into Jo’s shoes to ensure the performance was finished and polished.
In the build-up to the event lots of other people stepped into help as well for example Mrs Donna Stobie (another local volunteer) advised and made some of the costumes and The 52 Squadron (Aviemore) Air Cadets provided the team with combats suits which looked just fantastic on the stage. Three days before the event local Mr Geordie Haggerty (from Aviemore taxis) kindly donated his van to get the set, props and costumes to and from the school to Eden court.
On event day things got off to a bad start with the bus arriving an hour late but we got there in the end and the rest of the day went smoothly. Rehearsals went well with our performers looking really good well-polished. Our stage crew worked hard to get everything looking slick and our lighting team had everything running smoothly by the second run though. By 4.30 pm it was time for Kingussie High to start to get ready for their performance and we had been picked as first on out of all of the secondary schools.
The team hit the stage at about 7.30 to perform in front of a full auditorium. School staff, parents and friends had all journeyed from Kingussie to watch the performance and they weren’t disappointed. Headteacher Mr Bray, who was in the audience said, “all the hard work paid off. It was executed perfectly and was an emotional performance. The symbolic use of white tissues being waved at loved ones and they departed to fight for their country and the use of a wall of poppies to represent Flanders Fields was a moving tribute to those who have been lost fighting and those who are still fighting to keep the world a safer place.”
At the final results Kingussie narrowly missed 3rd place by 3.5 points coming 4th overall (behind Alness, Charlston and Dingwall). But they also received two prestigious awards for ‘Costume Character’ and ‘Performance Skills’.
Miss Cameron the event coordinator and team leader said, “I took 35 wonderful students to Eden court and was so proud of each and every one for their commitment and performance. You are all stars and many thanks. I also have to thank Kingussie High School for their support, and allowing the students to be involved. The team was in high spirits and loved being on stage. I have already been asked, ‘can we do it again next year,’ by many of the pupils”.
One final thanks has to go to Truffolicious who kindly donated chocolate bars, chocolate lollies, and their truffles for the team!