Spring Concert 2019

Friday 22nd March saw the culmination of this terms musical endeavours, with each of our main musical ensembles performing in the annual Spring Concert. As ever, the standard was impeccably high, featuring music by Shostakovich to the Beatles, and Holst to Stephen Sondheim.

The concert opened with the first movement from Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite, arranged for Brass Band and conducted by our Director of Music, Richard Stafford. This formed the perfect prelude for the orchestral pieces that followed and was, as expected, polished and exceptionally well-rehearsed.

Greig’s Symphonic Dances brought delight to the performers and audience alike, with the Symphony Orchestra capturing the imaginative scoring and colourful sonorities from the outset. Sophie Crooks (U6, WG) was the first soloist, performing Krommer’s Clarinet Concerto with elegance and precision. Her negotiation of the semi-quaver runs was particularly impressive and she took full advantage of the numerous jovial and virtuosic flourishes that appeared throughout the work. The orchestra, under the direction of Andrew Johnson, performed with clarity and meticulousness in this and Chaminade’s Flute Concertino that followed. Here, Tom Hopson (U6, WB) displayed outstanding technique and musical awareness, exploring the full potential of the instrument with verve and panache. Shostakovich’s energetic Waltz from Jazz Suite No 2 concluded the first half, with the iconic melody and auxiliary percussion (with an accordion too!) delighting the audience and resulting in a well-deserved rapturous reception for all involved.

The String Ensemble, conducted by Jack Thompson, opened the second half with a highly imaginative interpretation of Holst’s Brook Green Suite. The modal and folk-like qualities of this work were immediately apparent, and culminated in a vivacious performance of the final, highly rhythmic, gigue-style dance. Stephen Smith then led the Jazz Band in excellent renditions of classic TV themes, including Peter Gunn and the ever-popular Hawaii Five O. Abigail Horton (L6, N) took to the stage to sing Send in the Clowns and performed, as ever, with sensitivity and skill. The evening concluded with performances from the Concert Band, with Angie Wyatt (Fifth, A) performing admirably in the alto saxophone feature Can’t Help Falling in Love With You. Michael Brown’s Pixar Movie Magic included a variety of well-known melodies, and was executed with rhythmical accuracy and assurance throughout. This was, in all, an exceptional evening of music making. We congratulate the performers for all their hard work – both in the concert itself and throughout the term as a whole – and look forward with anticipation to next term’s events.