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18 July 2016

Summer Concert

We have had a terrific year in the music department and the three busy terms - packed full of wonderful events - were brought to a rousing conclusion in the annual Prize Day Concert. The quality of music-making on display was of a genuinely impressive standard, and the sheer enjoyment shown by the children was uplifting. The concert started with two fine performances from the orchestra – Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2 and John Williams’ Main Theme from Jurassic Park. The latter featured some very difficult writing taken straight from the original score, and the orchestra coped with it admirably. This was followed by two beautiful vocal solos from Year 8 girls Lizzie Chetwode and Maggie Rundell singing The Lily Has a Smooth Stalk and When Will Someone Hear? respectively.

Years 3 and 4 charmed with the witty Ocean Commotion and Kitty Chapple (Y8) dazzled with the spicy Danza Animada. In contrast came Jemima Lawson Johnston (Y8) on ‘cello with an elegant and poised Arioso by J S Bach. The Guitar Group and Brass Ensemble followed with The Last Waltz and Mendelssohn’s Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and both groups demonstrated a real sense of rapport and ensemble. The combined choir of Years 5, 6 and 7 produced a terrific sound (Flash! Bam! Alakazam!) with the Nat King Cole classic Orange Colored Sky and they were ably supported by the combined forces of Kitty Chapple, Sophie Minchin (Y8) and Matthew Osborne (Y7) on trumpets and Oliver Mathew (Y8) on saxophone.

Daneel Louw (Y8) confidently presented us with the characterful Intermezzo by Kodaly before we were treated to some close harmony singing from Sophie Minchin, Maggie Rundell, Oliver Mathew, Kitty Chapple, Lottie Knill (Y8) and Lizzie Chetwode. Their offerings of Mr Blue Sky and Grease were vocally assured and brilliantly sung and it could well be true that no audience member’s toe was left untapped.

The Senior String Quartet demonstrated their considerable chamber music skills in a difficult arrangement of Chopin’s Prelude in B minor featuring solos for all four players but hinging on the expressive ‘cello playing of Jemima Lawson Johnston. A bit of Glastonbury entered next with the Year 8 Blue Band Boys of Will Hall, Joss Chippendale, Oliver Mathew and Daneel Louw performing Coldplay’s Yellow with obvious relish.

Lottie Knill’s Long Ago and Far Away was beautifully sung and Bryony Griffiths (Y6) followed with Dvorak’s graceful Vlatava on ‘cello. Oliver Mathew provided us with a virtuosic flute Rondeaux by J C Bach from the ABRSM Grade 8 list and the Senior Choir enveloped us in the rich harmonies of John Lennon’s Imagine. The concert was finished off by the Year 8 leavers singing their hearts out to the Sia song Unstoppable and the exhilarated audience gave rapturous applause at the end of another marvellous concert.

Well done to all of the children and music staff.

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