In the grandiose setting of London’s Royal Over-Seas League, our senior musicians gave the first re-founded Bluecoat Concert to an audience of parents, staff, governors, Old Blues, donors, and other supporters. The concert was a real celebration: of music, particularly after a period with so few opportunities for public performance; and of our pupils, showcasing the finest talent CH has to offer. I must say these pupils surpassed expectations by some distance.
Featuring chamber groups and soloists, the concert began with an arresting display from five of the marching band’s senior drummers, led by Chi (GR/Year 13), which certainly brought the Princess Alexandra Hall, bathed in blue and pink light, to attention. All introduced by their peers, several chamber groups followed, including the String Quartet playing Dvořák’s American, Piazzolla’s boisterous Libertango from the Sax Quartet, the Brass Quintet with Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday and Malcolm Bennett’s Banbury, and the Schola choir with Bob Chilcott’s beautiful arrangement of Londonderry Air. The concert concluded with a quartet of our most accomplished jazz musicians, who sent us smiling into the autumn evening with Autumn Leaves and On Green Dolphin Street.
Three soloists gave impressive accounts, accompanied masterfully by Mr Thompson. Gemma (DG/Year 12), fresh from success at the National Youth Orchestra’s auditions, gave a commanding performance of the first movement of Glière’s Horn Concerto. William’s (DG/Year 12) latter two movements of Poulenc’s demanding Sonata pour clarinette et piano were played with a great musicality and emotional maturity. Gloria’s (GR/Year 13) refined aria from Don Giovanni, Vedrai, Carino, would have held its own down the road at Covent Garden.
A real tour de force, of which the performing pupils – and the School as a whole – can be extremely proud. Bravo.
Mr Hodgkinson, Director of Music