This week’s assembly at school was something special. Every year, each child from Year 5 is given a partner from the Reception year (children aged 4–5). The idea is that the older children will look after the younger ones and generally help them feel at home in the school. The partners for this year were recognised at the assembly today. A lot of parents came to the assembly today to see this. It really was a special occasion.

At first the head teacher thought it was best if I didn’t do my usual music slot for assembly this week. But then I suggested that I simply play music suitable for the occasion and leave out the talk.

So this is what I did. When the children came in, I played a piano version of the famous Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord) by Mozart. Here it is in the proper version:

Laudate Dominum by Mozart

This piece told everyone that something special was about to take place—without saying a single word! It prepared everyone for the special occasion.

During the occasion itself—when the names were read out and the children came forward in pairs—I played Ave Maria (‘Hail Mary’) by the modern classical composer Patrick Hawes (video not available, but you can hear part of it on Patrick Hawes’ official website by clicking here). This is very peaceful music. It told everyone that what they were seeing was very special. And it encouraged people to think about it too.

Finally, when the children went out of assembly, I played a piano version of the famous Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke:

The famous ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ by Jeremiah Clarke

This piece told everyone that something special had just taken place. It told everyone that there was something to celebrate.

I think the music added something very special to today’s assembly that went beyond words (see the Why is Music Important? page to read more about this idea). And I think others thought that too!

Video credits
  1. Hampshire Choral Society – Mozart Solemn Vespers – Laudate Dominum. The Hampshire Choral Society of Western MA, conducted by Allan Taylor, performs Mozart’s Laudate Dominum from the Solemn Vespers, K339. Featuring Jennifer Tyo, soprano. Recorded at Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, November 18, 2008.
  2. Jeremiah Clarke Trumpet Voluntary – Sciacca (AG) 2004.wmv. Jeremiah Clarke Trumpet Voluntary Sciacca (AG) 2004.
    Tromba Leonardo Maniscalco, Solisti Sicani Ensemble, Chiesa delle Giummare, 25 Agosto 2004.
    There is more information about this one on the video’s YouTube page.