Having a Ball

Posted on: 23/05/2024


Throughout the thirty-year lifetime of Harrodian the quality of music and entertainment at its charity fundraising balls and celebrations has always been legendary. Back in 2022, after the unwelcome disruption of preceding years, the ball returned with a vengeance and set the bar high for future events. But this year’s 30th anniversary ball went even further – in fact it just moved the bar even higher!


Not just one, but two marquees, were used this year to accommodate a record number of guests.  This first hosted guests for a drinks reception, and later for dancing, while the second temporary marquee covering the AstroTurf court was used for dinner. Inside 60 dinner tables were beautifully dressed in purple with a wisteria tree in the middle (provided by Palmbrokers – suppliers of trees, plants and greenery and theatrical props for film, television, and events). The evening started with drinks and live music from our winning Battle of the Bands student musicians (read more about our BOTB competition and hear the winners by clicking HERE). Guests then walked through the clad tunnel (dressed in greenery courtesy of Palmbrokers again) from one marquee to another to enjoy a delicious three-course meal catered for by Lettice Events.


These events are about fundraising as much as fun. A fantastic auction, hosted by Matt Dawson MBE, former England rugby player, World Cup winner and presenter, raised all important funds for the Harrodian Bursary. Mr Hooke’s donated prize – “Headmaster for the Day” – was one of the most lucrative lots in the auction with two competing sets of parents bidding for their children to win it. In the end, both families were awarded the prize and Mr Hooke is looking forward to two days off!


After dinner, more live music kicked off with a set by a school super group band made up of two musician parents, Tom Howe on guitar and The Cure’s Jason Cooper on drums, with Andy Pask on bass, Matt Holland on trombone, Paul Silver on sax and Harrodian Music's Dan Almond playing keys.  The biggest surprise, kept a secret and well-hidden before the night, was the addition of Sam Ryder who sang with the band for the whole set and closed with his famous UK chart-topping ‘Space Man’ track from Eurovision 2022.


The night reached a pulsating climax with an amazing set by legendary DJ Pete Tong, who played all the way through to 1am. The dance floor was packed for the duration and a fabulous light show, delivered by the amazing 02 Group, added to the atmosphere.


As well as those mentioned above, Harrodian would also like to thank Easigrass, Good Intents, QPA, Lucky Saint, Jumble Bee auctions, Albert Bartlett and all those who donated auction prizes and bid for them.

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Last but not least, thank you to the Friends of Harrodian, pictured below, and in particular to Rachael Snaith, Amanda Murphy, the school housekeeping and grounds team, to Mr Hooke and all other Harrodian staff (you know who you are!) who helped make the evening such a success.

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A full gallery of photos, taken by Upper Sixth Former Charles, will be available and shared via a link shortly.