Students join Greek folk band for foot-tapping fun

Plastikes Karekles
Plastikes Karekles
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Almost 50 students are getting ready to perform in a ‘heart-pumping, hip -swinging concert’ full of beautiful Greek music.

The event takes place in the main hall of Oathall Community College, Appledore Gardens, Haywards Heath, at 7pm on Saturday, April 5.

The young singers are performing with London-based Greek band Plastikes Karekles –a big band of bouzoukia, accordion, guitars, double bass, cello, violin and piano and six Greek singers of different styles.

They aim to offer an exciting fusion of latin, swing, calypso and tango.

Carol Mac Taggart, head of faculty (performance) at Oathall Community College, came up with the idea for the concert with Pavlos Carvalho, who plays cello for Ensemble Reza.

Speaking to the County Times, Carol said: “We just thought what a wonderful idea it would be to introduce students to something a little unique and different.”

Money raised from the concert will go towards funding a festival of outreach, education work and concerts that Pavlos and other musicians are organizing.

The show will be divided into two parts.

In the first half students from Oathall Community College, Bolnore Village Primary School, Michael Hall School and Harlands Primary School will perform instrumental and choir pieces.

These pieces will include jazz numbers, as well as world and popular music.

In the second half Plastikes Karekles perform, with songs that include the instrumentalists and choir.

Carol said she is delighted that young people are enthusiastic about performing this kind of music.

She said: “When my students first started to prepare for this they were really worried about being able to sing in Greek.

“One of the most difficult things for the band members and the singers as well was the changes in the meter, the time signatures.

“One of the pieces goes from 7/8 to 9/8, so they were a little bit wary about that, but as soon as they had the time to get the band together with the singers it was great.”

She continued: “The music came alive in the classroom and they really started to enjoy it once they had done the harder work of understanding the rhythms and the more difficult Greek words.”

When asked whether she was aiming to create a lively atmosphere with the show, Carol said: “Oh, yes. We’re hoping people will be getting up and we’re going to make sure there are a couple of spaces around so if people do feel the need to jump up and have a little dance they can do that.”

Tickets are available from Oathall Community College reception on 01444 414001 or

Adult tickets cost £8 and under 16s tickets cost £4.

All ages are welcome.