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Standing Ovation at Arundel Castle

Monday 20 March 2017

On Friday, 17 March, 40 musicians from the Christ’s Hospital Band performed at a major charity fundraiser ‘Celebrating Sussex Childhood’ at Arundel Castle. The event was hosted by Mark Spofforth OBE, High Sheriff of West Sussex, in the presence of Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and Henry, Earl of Arundel.  Xarius Dalal received a standing ovation from the audience for a flawless xylophone solo.

Sixth former Alex Stewart who plays first trumpet said:

“The band concert at Arundel was the first opportunity I’d ever had to go inside a medieval castle. As we approached the castle, the exterior was simply breath-taking, the sheer size of the stone walls made them almost unapproachable. The experience really sank in when we were led through the complex network of corridors and stairs, which along with our Tudor uniform, felt like a trip back in time. The guests arrived and eventually not an empty seat could be seen. We began with the chilling toccata in D minor, its dramatic opening immediately gripped the room and set the scene for what was to be a wonderful evening. My personal favourite was the upbeat ‘Helter-Skelter’ a thrilling xylophone solo performed flawlessly by Xarius Dalal that deservedly received a standing ovation from the audience.”

Molly Sellors, 13, who plays the Oboe commented:

“Our musical programme consisted of a wide range of pieces, from both the classical and modern eras, including a Jackson five medley.  My personal favourite piece was Farandole by Bizet which was arranged for concert band. I like this piece because it is a bold piece with a fast pace.  The audience seemed to especially enjoy the 1960’s Beach Boys medley; people started to sing along and dance.”

Alex went on to say: “As the evening came to an end, the focus of the concert shifted to the amazing charitable causes Winston’s Wish, a childhood bereavement programme, and Chestnut Tree House, a children’s hospice. We are all extremely thankful to the charities involved and Arundel castle for kindly hosting the event and especially thank them for adding yet another fantastic memory for all of us at Christ’s Hospital that were involved.”

Pictures courtesy of Graham Franks

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