28 Nov 2019
Monday 11th November 2019 marked 101 years since the Great War was brought to a final close with the signing of the Armistice. Ardingly College remembered this momentous date, along with the rest of the country, with a two-minute silence at 11am. The College then concluded the day with a poignant concert, held in the Chapel. There was to be no applause, but rather time for peaceful reflection between each performance.
The evening began with a prayer by Father Adrian before the Girls’ Choir arose to perform Mark Blatchly’s For the Fallen, the words being taken from the revered remembrance poem by Laurence Binyon. The song was performed with poise and grace with Sophia Evans playing The Last Post on trumpet during the final verse.
Between each musical performance was a poem or literary extract, each spoken by a member of the Senior School. Beth Martin, Eddie Hyatt, Patrick Ross, Lucy Hayter, Jacob Coughlan, Lily Oates, Isabel Siebert Caceres, and Isabella Schenk should be proud of their emotionally astute deliveries of such powerful literature. The final two should be especially commended for their performance of Gerrit Engelke’s An die Soldaten des Großes Krieges (To the Soldiers of the Great War), not only for their deliverance, but also for helping to break the anglo-centric view of the devastation caused by the War.
The musical endeavours of the students ranged from solo voices to a string quartet performance. Emily Ward, Rebecca Horton, Effie King, and William Price were our outstanding vocal soloists, with their repertoire from the West Country all the way to the 1998 American musical The Civil War. Enrico Jaeckle and Louis Edwards-Munro then played solo instrumental works on cello and violin respectively, captivating the audience with beautiful renditions of Mendelssohn and Finzi. An ad-hoc consort of music teachers and students also sang Parry’s setting of Crossing the Bar, effectively performed from the alter for a wash of melancholy.
Finally, two other ensembles must be congratulated on their professionalism and excellent delivery. Louis Edwards-Munro, Abigail and Rebecca Horton, and Enrico Jaeckle performed Puccini’s Crisantemi quartet with a true sense of yearning. Secondly, the Gentlemen’s Choir, directed by Mr Pozzuto, gave two wonderful renditions of soldier’s songs – Pack Up Your Troubles and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary. They truly lifted the atmosphere of the night and gave relief in a time of deep reflection.
In all, every performer should be immensely proud of their accomplishments at the concert. The music department thanks them for their hard work and time given to evoke such. Thank you again for a beautiful concert.