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Upper Sixth celebrate their SGS years

Good luck wishes, bouncy castles and a barbecue were the order of the day when our Upper Sixth Form Leavers celebrated their time at SGS with an emotional last assembly and a spectacular music concert.

The final big musical showcase of the year happened on Thursday 2nd May on the last day of teaching for our Fifth and Upper Sixth Formers, and it was a perfect way to say goodbye to another extremely hard working and musical group of pupils.

Assistant Director of Music Mr Kennedy reports on the evening:

Senior Jazz Band, made up of Upper Sixth Form pupils Alex Pollard and Jake Wyatt-Thomas, and Lower Sixth Form pupil Pippa Brown, opened the show with a phenomenal set that demonstrated flair and versatility. From the bebop of John Coltrane, to the hauntingly beautiful Spain and the ever popular “Gotcha” theme from Starsky & Hutch, there was not a note out of place (it was jazz after all!) and the high standard of performance set the tone for a fantastic evening ahead.

Following on the tradition of talented Upper Sixth Form pupils performing solos with one of the senior ensembles, Lydia Horne then performed the “2nd movement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto” with First Orchestra. With a beautiful sound! All three of our Upper Sixth soloists this year (Alex Pollard, Niamh Johnson and Lydia Horne) have been excellent and they will be sorely missed next year. The music staff would like to thank them for their outstanding contribution over the last seven years.

String Orchestra then took on a tricky concerto grosso by Vivaldi with Zoe Shah and Josh Furtado Mendes playing the concertino parts. This ensemble really has come on a long way in recent years under the astute directing of Mrs Matthews, who this evening played double bass while conducting. Not only are they continuing to grow in size, their sound is fantastic and they are tackling seriously challenging repertoire. There was even a cameo performance by Mr Dow on the harpsichord.

Mr Evans then stepped up to lead the Big Band through a rabble-rousing performance of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray and an incredible performance of “The Incredibles” – this time featuring cameo performances on synth from Mr Kennedy. The final piece of Big Band’s set was one which will be remembered for a long time. Multi-talented Alex Pollard (Upper Sixth) had composed a piece especially for the school Big Band for this occasion; he conducted his piece “It’s Been A Blast!” superbly and the band clearly enjoyed performing it.

After a brief interval, Wind Orchestra stepped up to perform the extremely tricky “Mancini Magic” which featured several well-known film tunes including “Moon River”, “Baby Elephant Walk” and “A Shot in the Dark” to name but a few. It was a brilliant arrangement and the audience clearly enjoyed it.

Hot on the heels of the Senior Jazz Band in terms of talent, up next were the Junior Jazz Band featuring Fourth Years Gabriel Keeble, Emily Edwards, Will Insley, Dan Vincent and Oscar Williams. With Oscar and Dan switching freely between piano and drum kit, the group gave excellent performances of “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “Black Coffee” and “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”. Both the jazz bands would like to thank Mr Hamilton for his excellent work this year preparing them for their performances.

The Saxophone quartet then performed a version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. This excellent performance, full of dynamic contrasts, had been arranged by Lower Sixth Form pupil Ruby Harrison who plays baritone sax and she shows excellent promise as an arranger.

As always in this event, the final act of the evening was the Leavers’ Ensemble, which this year was particularly well organised, and certainly one of the best in recent memory. With music arranged by Alex Pollard and witty lyrics from Jake Wyatt-Thomas, Lydia Horne, Niamh Johnson and Alex Pollard, the large group of Upper Sixth Form leavers delivered a heartfelt performance which gently mocked both themselves and the music staff. This was then followed by some lovely speeches by the pupils. The music staff would like to say thank you to all of this year’s leavers for their excellent commitment to musical activities and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.