Monday, March 16, 2015

The Spring Concert

The School held its annual Spring Concert last Thursday evening in the lovely setting of the Wathen Hall at St Paul's School.

The School's three main concerts, the St Cecilia Concert, the Spring Concert and the Easter Concert follow a pattern that was established before I joined the School in 1995 and so have been running for at least twenty years and probably longer than that. The Spring Concert has always been the School's instrumental concert, featuring the orchestras and other ensembles, without interruption from singing! Many people tell me it is their favourite concert of the year, not because they don't like the singing, but because the atmosphere is perhaps a little less formal and there is great variety to the music that is played. Last Thursday in the wonderful Wathen Hall there was the definite advantage for the audience of being able to see the performers as the seating is raked, and also being able to hear very clearly in the hall's award-winning accoustic.

There was certainly great variety to the programme this year with the musical items ranging from Don't Stop Me Now by Queen to Amazing Grace, via Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite and Prokofiev's Montagues and Capulets.

There were some very strong and ambitious performances in the concert not least the First Orchestra's performance of the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Other music included two movements of Haydn's London Symphony and a Mozart Wind Octet.

Two highlights though came from the Concert Band and the Senior String Ensemble.

The Concert Band, conducted by Sarah Wilby, performed Fiesta! by Philip Sparke. You can watch the whole performance in the video below:

The Senior String Ensemble (who have never been stronger in the past twenty years) performed Vaughan Williams' remarkable Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. You can see a clip of this below. Watch out for the Second Orchestra in the balcony!

Congratulations to all who performed in this concert. It really was a very lovely event. 


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