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REVIEW: School Concert

Thursday 06 December 2018

We were delighted to welcome north of 450 people to the School Concert on Sunday 25th November, a chance for our larger ensembles to showcase the work they have done this term.

Symphony Orchestra opened the batting with a vociferous rendition of The Great Gate of Kiev, from Mussorgsky’s celebrated Pictures at an Exhibition, with some mature musical shaping during the wind interludes, and ebullient brass playing, often at the extremes of the range. This was followed by Shostakovich’s light-hearted Waltz II from the second Jazz Suite, featuring the Saxophone Quartet and a lyrical solo by Emmanuel (GE / Year 11). The Chamber Orchestra followed with Bizet and Sarasate, both of which showed an impressive attention to detail particularly when it came to articulation. The Intermediate Orchestra, a hugely valuable training ground, came up trumps with Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, and Mendelssohn’s War March of the Priests. Cherrie's (LE Year 9) sensitive mastery of the piano in Larghetto from Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D major, K537, was a real delight.

The audience was able to experience a taste of our annual House Singing Competition as this year’s winning houses, Barnes A and Middleton A, took their victory laps. There followed the Training Band with three real hip-swingers. It was wonderful to hear this accomplished group; their collective talent and ability bodes very well for the future. The concert closed with the Christ’s Hospital Band, currently celebrating its 150th year. Alongside medleys by Paul Murtha (music from The Greatest Showman) and Hans Zimmer, a real highlight of the concert was three movements from Holst’s Second Suite for Military Band. There were some excellent solos, not least from Katerina (GR / Year 13) on the euphonium – all the more impressive considering the fact that she was also playing Maria in the school production of West Side Story that week– and the Band negotiated the tricky 3/4 against 6/8 passages with style and ease.

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