4 Jan 2022
Our annual Christmas concert provided the metaphorical angel atop this term’s tree. This year’s provided a celebration of chamber music from Bach to Metallica, featuring some excellent ensemble playing from our bands, strings, percussion and flutes.
Reminiscent of the twelve cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic, our newly formed Cello Choir opened the concert with aplomb, featuring a cameo from Mr. Stafford, who it seems has discovered a hidden talent for the instrument. You very rarely hear music for five violas (no viola joke intended – poor violists), but we are very lucky to have a core group of fine violists who sang through some Eric Satie and warmed our cockles with a lovely arrangement of Silent Night.
The Remove string quartet are an exciting group within the College (think Lennon, Mcartney, George and Ringo), delivering beautifully crafted chamber music with every performance, with no exception in this concert.
A newly formed octet of Fifth and Sixth-form musicians gave a nuanced performance of Britten’s Sentimental Sarabande and provided a real showcase of the strength of our string playing here at the College. Sublime Britten was followed by a wonderful arrangement of the Muppets Show (the theme, not the Remove percussion ensemble) complete with an introduction composed by our very own Alex B.
The flute ensemble provided both beautifully poised Baroque Boismortier and some Christmas cheer in both carol and Bossa Nova forms.
It takes considered practice, skill and dedication to play difficult chamber music, particularly the music of Johannes Brahms, and both Mark W and Myles K gave a stirring performance of part of his Horn Trio in Eb, testament to their hard work and sheer enjoyment of the music itself.
Loyal audience members look forward to Jazz Band performances and their rendition of Marvin Gaye’s seminal What’s Going On did not disappoint, featuring particularly fine solos from Monty Brown on the alto saxophone.
The Remove and Lower Sixth Bands gave their all, in commanding performances of songs from Chuck Berry to Radiohead. The rock-stars of Mertens (AKA the Lower Sixth Band) made the stage their own and had the audience filling the chapel with whoops and cheers; a fine way to round off a busy term of music-making at the College.
As usual, the concert, in full, expertly live-streamed by Mr. Freer and Mr. Williams is available on the Ardingly College Music YouTube channel, if anyone would like to experience, or relive, both the pupils’ performances or some expert surprise carolling, complete with quacking and mooing, from the music staff.
Mr Giacomo Pozzuto
Head of Academic Music