Monday, March 28, 2016

Lent Term Review

The following article appeared in the Vaughan's Lent Term Review.

Music in the Lent Term 2016

The Big Band made a welcome return to the Bull’s Head in Barnes early in the Lent Term and then at the beginning of February led the music-making at the annual Big Band Evening. Alongside the Junior Big Band and the Addison Sextet, the boys performed nearly three hours of music. There are some great PHOTOS on the School's Flickr pages. If you’ve not been to a Big Band evening do come next year – it is a great night out! And you don’t need to wait that long to hear the Band – the boys will be playing at the Half-Moon in Putney on Sunday 10 April, starting at 1.30 pm. 

The Lent Term also features the Annual Music Competition. The Heat Winners were as follows:

Junior              Gabriele Montone & Tomasso Kelly
Senior              Thomas Fetherstonhaugh & Alexander Yeghiazarian

Junior              Thomas McCann and Dominic DeVivenot
Senior              Lara Gladhand, Logan Stewart and Jonathan Abruhno

Junior              Thomas McCann, Luke Warren & Oliver Hewins
Senior              Owen Saldanha & Thomas Fetherstonhaugh

Junior              Barnaby Stewart & Joshua Schrijnen
Senior              Filippo Turkheimer & Patrick MacMahon

Junior              David Laleye-Thomas & Harry Fetherstonhaugh
Senior              Filippo Turkheimer & Greta Mariani

The final was adjudicated by David Corkhill who chose the following overall winners:

Junior Musician of the Year    Gabriele Montone (violin)
Senior Musician of the Year   Thomas Fetherstonhaugh (violin)

Many congratulation to Tom and Gabrielle and also to the nearly one hundred pupils who took part in this year’s competition.

The Lent Term is also when we work with Southbank Sinfonia, our Orchestra in Residence, which this year involved the preparation of a performance of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Forty of our most advanced orchestral players sat side-by-side their professional counterparts in two days of rehearsals leading to the concert on 10 March at St John’s Church, Waterloo. Conducted by David Corkhill, this was a remarkable occasion: there are videos clips of the evening available on the Music Department’s Facebook Page. Southbank Sinfonia also gave a concert to the Lower School boys, performing extracts from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony (directed by Thomas Fetherstonhaugh of the Upper Sixth) and took part in a composing workshop with members of the Lower and Upper Sixth.

The Spring Instrumental Concert was held in the Wathen Hall at St Paul’s School on Wednesday 2 March. With around 120 pupils involved, this was an evening of strong performances from Junior and Senior Ensembles alike, the main work being Dvořák’s beautiful Eighth Symphony. Other highlights included a concerto for two bassoons (performed by Senior Strings with Luciano Cusack and Lara Goodhand on the bassoons) and also Concert Band’s performance of Festivo by Edward Gregson. Concert Band are playing in the National Concert Band Festival at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester at the end of the Easter Holiday and we wish them every success in that exciting venture.

The Schola has focused this term on the preparation of JS Bach’s St John Passion, which it performed twice, at Holy Trinity, Sloane Square on Thursday 17 March and then again at Douai Abbey in Berkshire on Saturday 19 March. This is a monumental work and it has been a major achievement by the Schola to learn it, in German, to such a high level. As well as singing the choruses, the boys also sang the arias and smaller solo roles. We were joined by leading Evangelist Nicholas Mulroy and also by Old Vaughnian Jerome Knox who sang the part of Christ. 

There are more PHOTOS of the performance at Holy Trinity, Sloane Square available on the Schola's Flickr Page. 

The Schola has sung each week at the Lower School Mass, of course, and also led the singing at the School’s Ash Wednesday Services, singing amongst other music the Allegri Miserere Mei (with the famous high c). In addition, the choir has sung twice at Westminster Cathedral for the Saturday Vigil Mass. One boy, Alessandro MacKinnon in the Second Form, sang on the Danny Elfman soundtrack for the new Alice In Wonderland film due for release in May. Gabrielle Montone in the First Form has played the role of Gerardhinio in the Royal Opera’s production of Gianni Schicchi.

On the first day of next term, April 12, the Schola will sing Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral. Another day for the diary is Thursday 21 April when, at the Easter Concert, the School Choir will perform Mendelssohn’s wonderfully dramatic Elijah at St James’s, Spanish Place. Much later in the term, on Friday 25 June, the Schola will return to Spanish Place to perform Fauré’s Requiem as part of the Marylebone Festival in a performance to be conducted by none other than Sue Perkins from The Great British Bake Off. Mary Berry will sing the Pie Jesu – no, that’s not true, but the other part is.

Very many thanks to all the boys and girls for their hard work this term, huge thanks to the staff for their commitment, and warmest thanks to the parents without whom none of what we do would be possible.

Happy Easter.

Scott Price, Director of Music


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