The school’s orchestras, bands and choirs performed to a sell-out audience at this year’s Autumn Concert.
Guests were welcomed with opening performances of Hallelujah, Yellow Bird and Ragtime Roundup by the Second Orchestra, conducted by Mrs Short.
This was followed by the String Orchestra’s introduction to four very different styles of 20th Century music – conducted by Mr Griffith.
Introducing the rich expression of late Romanticism, Upper Sixth Form pupil, Becki Smith, opened with a solo performance of Fauré’s Après un Rêve. This was followed by fragments from Berg’s Serial Lyriche Suite and Reich’s Minimalist The Four Sections. The set ended with Stravinsky’s quirky Neoclassical piece Vivo from Pulcinella Suite.
Lower Sixth Form pupil, Emily Howling, then gave a charming vocal performance of Desmond’s Take Five with the Jazz Band. This was followed by an extravagant performance of Unsquare Dance with improvised solos from George Dixon on drums, Alex Pollard on piano and Alex Jones on double bass. Jazz band finished with an upbeat version of Winter Wonderland.
The first half ended with stunning performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers from “The Snow Maiden” and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance Op. 46 No. 8. by the First Orchestra, conducted by the Director of Music, Mr Dow. The performances featured Lower Sixth Form pupil, Alex Jones, and Upper Sixth Form pupil, Simon Fraser who were both recently selected for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
The First Orchestra opened the second half with a dramatic performance of the first movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, again conducted by Mr Dow, before Junior Band joined the stage with Mrs Taylor for a mixture of Costa Del Sol, Mumbo Jumbo and Thriller to lighten the mood.
For the finale a chorus of 140 pupils sang an uplifting medley from Guys and Dolls with excellent solos from Libby Clarence, Molly Royle, Sarah Stretton, Claudia Thomas and Oliver Sheard.