As the snowy weather arrived, the festive season opened with a Senior School Concert full of Christmas sparkle and the musical theme continued to the end of term with Carol Services held at St George’s Church for both the Junior and Senior Schools.
Concert Band opened proceedings with a rousing rendition of The Great Escape and a lyrical arrangement of In The Bleak Midwinter, featuring a clarinet solo from Sarah Callow, before closing their set with some Disney Classics and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Junior Chamber Choir were up next with a lovely clear tone in The Mountains are Calling Me, O Danny Boy and Thankful.
New saxophone teacher Mr Evans then led energetic performances of In the Mood, Cantaloupe Island and The Final Countdown, leaving the audience dancing in the aisles on their way to some half-time refreshment.
After the interval, Chamber Choir added a touch of choral magic to the evening with Every Time I Feel The Spirit, a smooth and silky version of Winter Wonderland and a barnstorming delivery of I Get Around featuring Matthew Howling on vocal percussion.
Second Orchestra performed an exciting version of The Barber of Seville and festive classic Skater’s Waltz and it was clear to see that there are many promising musicians coming up through the lower years of the school.
Wind Orchestra brought the evening to a close with the triumphant Ouverture de l’aventure and vibrant Latin rhythms in Latin Americana, before the evening ended with the annual tradition of Sleigh Ride, just as the snow began to fall.
Senior Carol Service
The atmospheric surroundings of St George’s Church were the perfect setting for the Senior School’s Carol Service. The evening brought together pupils, parents, governors, staff and Old Stopfordians for an evening of congregational carols, readings by pupils and performances by the school’s choral groups. From Chamber Choir’s opening rendition of Gaudete to their candlelit finale with I Saw A Maiden, via performances by Chorus, Junior chamber Choir and Vox, the service was the perfect conclusion to an Autumn Term full of musical excellence.
Junior Carol Service
The following week, it was the turn of the Junior School singers, the orchestra and pupil readers to delight the congregation at their Carol Service at St George’s Church. Prayers were led by Head Girl Molly Parnell and Head Boy William Daniels, with traditional and modern readings to set the Christmas scene ready for the holidays ahead.