Pupils from 1st Form through to Upper 6th gave an excellent Michaelmas Term Concert to an audience of parents, staff and friends gathered in Russell Hall.
The evening opened with the Orchestra performing Haydn; later they changed mood with a lively number “La Cucharacha” which had a catchy cello line stylishly played by Jasper Pike. Cantus Choir’s beautiful performance of the Oscar award winning song “City of Stars” included some outstanding solos from individual singers, which contrasted nicely with their sassy rendition of “Exes and Ohs”. In the second half they were joined by Gaby Ayling on bass and Bea Winder on drums for “Somewhere only we know”. Steel on Steel gave a Christmassy flavour to the evening with the Calyspo carol “Mary’s Boy Child”. Woodwind instruments were well represented by the growing Training Wind Band performing two numbers, and Senior Woodwind playing two very impressive pieces which required a high level of dexterity – well done to Gaby Ayling, George Ayling and Lucy Reed, who were skilfully led by Mrs Garford.
Jazz Band closed both halves of the programme with classics including “Mercy Mercy”, with sultry vocals provided by Charley Kirby, and the upbeat “Tiger Rag”. Brass Ensemble were “Putting on the Ritz” at the start of the second half and it was great to hear Kevin Huang, Andreas Haneke and Alex Littlewood fill the hall with the beautiful blended sounds of this jazzy arrangement. Allegro Strings managed the tricky ensemble required in their two pieces, despite their conductor Mr Williams-Wandoch being absent on the evening due to illness. Natasha Richardson performed an original composition “Tomorrow Morning” and Joni Mitchell’s classic “Big Yellow Taxi”, accompanying herself on guitar, producing a beautiful vocal sound which genuinely moved the audience. Our other soloist for the evening, Ursula France, gave a mesmerising performance of Regina Spektor’s “The Sword and the Pen”, making playing the piano and singing at the same time look effortless! Arcadia Baroque were joined again by Ursula for Bach’s famous “Jesu Joy”. The epic performance of a “Phantom of the Opera” medley by Schola Cantorum was a whistle stop tour through every hit number from the amazing stage show of the same name – a test of real stamina for the group of eight singers as the piece lasted for a full ten minutes!
Every performer deserves huge congratulations for the part they played in putting on such an impressive concert. The variety of the programme made this such an enjoyable event and was the result of weekly rehearsals right the way through the term. Well done to all involved!