Over 160 pupils across 10 ensembles took part in this year’s Autumn Concert, the curtain raiser for a season of large scale events in the Music department.
The Dining Hall was packed to capacity and there was a buzz of anticipation in the air as Junior Band took to the stage to kick off proceedings.
The large Junior Band, swelled by the number of pupils taking part in the First Year instrumental scheme, performed lively renditions of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, ‘North Winds Festival’ (with special wind sound effects) and ‘Soul Bossa Nova’.
The musicians were delighted to welcome headmaster Dr Paul Owen to perform with them in the trumpet section and they put the audience in the festive mood with a short version of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’.
Next up were Junior Chamber Choir who made a lovely sound and delighted the audience with their lyrical harmonies.
The Senior Percussion Group added energy and excitement to the evening playing the ‘Can Can’ and ‘Take 5’. Dan Grant, Oscar Williams, Daniel Vincent and Alex Pollard showed incredible flair and precision as they made their way around marimbas, xylophones and vibraphones.
The newly formed String Quartet of Zoe Shah, Talia Zelhof, Alex Pollard and Olivia Dow then performed the first movement of a Mozart ‘Divertimento’ and added a touch of class and sophistication to proceedings with sensitive playing and excellent ensemble playing.
To bring the first half to a close Big Band performed ‘At The Midnight Hour’, ‘Hello’ and crowd pleaser ‘I Want You Back’ and their lively performances had the audience bopping in their seats!
The second half opened up with a zesty performance by First Orchestra of the overture from ‘The Magic Flute’ before the Junior Percussion Group gave a barn-storming performance of ‘Thunderstrike’, composed by Mr Landon, followed by Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’.
The second choir of the evening, Vox, then performed Schneider’s ‘I’ll Think Of You’ and ‘I See The Light’ by Alan Menken.
The penultimate act of the evening was the newly formed Sax Trio, made up of A-level musicians Sarah Callow, Pippa Brown and Ruby Harrison, who performed ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’, ‘Summertime’ and the ‘Cantina Band’ music from Star Wars.
The evening was brought to a close by a hugely entertaining performance of ‘The Lion King’ by Chorus, featuring solos from Grace Shropshire and Sarah Callow, as well as stupendous wild laughter.
The audience could certainly feel the love as they braved the cold air and, as they returned to their frosty cars, a new reality dawned: winter is coming…which means the Christmas Concert is just around the corner!