Audiences were treated to musical masterclasses at this year’s summer and leavers’ concerts.
A large audience turned out to support the summer concert which featured several of the younger groups in school alongside the ever popular Big Band, Brass Ensemble and Jazz Band.
Junior Band, directed by Mr Kennedy, began the concert in dramatic fashion with a film-music-type piece called ‘Windquest’ before a rousing rendition of ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ from Toy Story.
Mrs Matthews then led the VOX choir in a beautiful performance of ‘Refuge’ by Howard Goodall which featured soloists Milly McCartney, Bonnie-Rae Adams, Vainavi Trivedi, Olivia Dow, Lola Gurton, Lydia Barker, Bella Platt, Lauren Hedley and Maya Anderson; they concluded their set with Adele’s ‘Rollin in the Deep’.
The Guitar Ensemble then showed their diversity by playing The Beatles classic ‘Let it Be’ and a Spanish romance, before Mr White’s Big Band brought the first half to a close with ‘Land of Make Believe’ and ‘Life of the Party’. This was Mr White’s final concert at the school and we would like to thank him for his energy, enthusiasm and musical leadership over the last 14 years.
The Second Orchestra, conducted by Mrs Short, opened the second half with a performance of old favourite ‘The Ash Grove’ with Daniel Vincent performing the solo euphonium part with excellent phrasing and a lovely warm sound.
Brass playing remained at the forefront in the next item as Brass Ensemble performed a selection of popular musical hits before Jazz Band brought the evening to a close with smooth interpretations of ‘Tarova’, ‘The Winner Takes it All’ and ‘Just Around the Corner’.
The leavers’ concert proved to be an emotional affair as the music department said goodbye and thank you to an excellent cohort of pupils.
Concert Band, conducted by Mr Kennedy, opened the program with rousing performances of ‘Film Highlights’ by John Williams, ‘Rejouissance’ from The Royal Fireworks by Handel, ‘Game of Thrones’ and Professor Googleheimer’s ‘Clarinet Polka’.
Next up was the Wind Quintet, featuring Jessica Lloyd on flute, and upper sixth pupils Joanna Brown (oboe), Jessie Brook (Horn), Rebecca Hill (bassoon) and Nick Murray (clarinet). They performed the ‘Overture to The Magic Flute’ which was a tricky piece but played with excellent fluency and ensemble. Senior Percussion Ensemble then played a piece composed by the conductor Mr Landon.
Quadratics was full of rhythmic vibrancy and the group performed with energy and much enthusiasm. Wind Orchestra, conducted by Mr Kennedy, brought the first half to a close with a selection of hits from James Bond films and an excellent arrangement of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
The second half got underway with Junior Percussion Ensemble, led by Mr Landon, performing ‘Mbira Jam’ and another piece composed by Mr Landon called ‘Crossover’. Flute Group made up of Joanna Brown, Pippa Brown, Lauryn Howard, Jess Lloyd and Paar Singh played the challenging ‘Allegro’ from Boismortier’s Concerto in B minor for five flutes.
The evening closed with the leaving pupils forming a unique ensemble of voices and a plethora of instruments performing an arrangement of popular hits and musical numbers organised by Alex Jones, Georgia Curwen, Joanna Brown, Tobias Provan and Nick Murray. With changes to the normal lyrics and humorous references to teachers, the group received a rapturous round of applause from the audience before Mr Dow and the pupils gave the customary speeches to mark another successful year in the music department.