The Leavers’ Concert on 3 May marked the end of music making for our Upper 6th pupils, as they prepare for A-Level exams and life beyond.
There was a fantastic atmosphere as the evening started with the ever stronger Orchestra playing Handel’s March”, complete with 4th Former Beatrice Winder on timpani. The audience were treated to a dazzling performance of Zempleni’s Sonata by the Flute Trio, coached by Mrs Garford. Jazz Band, led by Mr Ivan Garford, gave two cool renditions of classic numbers, “Fly me to the moon” and “Summertime”, with powerful vocals from Catherine Missin. The Arcadia Baroque, which has grown in size, performed two pieces, both called “Rondo”. The first was by Bach; the second by our very own Gabrielle Ayling, who composed this as part of her GCSE Music. We were delighted to have Jasper Pike, from Prep 5, joining us on the cello in this performance. Cantus Choir, under the guidance of Miss Castledine, gave a vibrant performance of “Africa” and “Bridge over troubled water”.
Soloists included our two excellent U6 Music Scholars, Abigail McGlone and James Horsburgh. Abigail’s impressive interpretation of Hindemith’s “Sonata” and James’ hauntingly beautiful playing in Debussy’s “La plus que lente” demonstrating what can be achieved through dedicated practice and commitment. Also performing were Zachariah Lee (piano), Anna Kober (clarinet), Charlotte White and Matilda Suiter (voice). All played and sang to a high standard. We were also treated to a mesmerising performance by Alice Strafford (Third Form) on harp. It is such a rare pleasure to hear this instrument played live.
We are extremely grateful to all of the performers who gave so much energy to the evening and the dedicated team of instrumental teaching staff who inspire and motivate our young musicians to achieve the standards they do. The audience left the Russell Hall buzzing with enthusiasm and full of praise for all that they had heard.