A memorable season of music-making
The grand finale of Exeter School music for 2018 took place on Thursday 20 December with the Christmas Concert in the Main School Hall.
With a total of 18 different ensembles, there was something for every musical taste. As is the tradition, the event began with Mrs Guthrie’s Junior Orchestra, whose younger players then had the opportunity to listen to the many senior groups later in the programme and hopefully become excited and inspired to continue with their music. Concert Orchestra (conducted by Santa) and later Symphony Orchestra both performed, enabling all or our orchestral players to take to the stage during the course of the evening.
Jazz was similarly well-represented, with Jazz Bands 1 and 2 producing some great, rich tone and a number of impressive individual solos. The two smaller groups directed by Mr Tamblyn, Blue Note and Birdland, enabled a number of our GCSE musicians to shine, whilst Mr Bowen’s Swunkette and Swunk provided showcases for the most senior jazz musicians.
It was a good night for woodwind and brass, with Flute Choir delivering an intricate arrangement of Jingle Bells and Maxi Brass a festive Zither Carol. Both the sax groups took to the stage, the Ensemble playing Crazy Rhythm and the Quartet Groovin’ at Sam’s Place. The tuning, accuracy and ensemble of both groups resulted in stylish performances, fully appreciated by the audience.
No Christmas concert would be complete without Rudolph putting in an appearance, and this year it was courtesy of a charming arrangement by Dr Grier and the Harp Strings.
A real highlight of the concert was Rock School’s performance of Change, composed and performed by Rachel Honeyball with Jess Billingham and Charlie Killen, supported by Mr Painter. These talented musicians put in a polished performance of Rachel’s well-crafted lyrics and instrumental writing.
Choirs naturally also formed a key part of the programme, Middle School Choir chose the traditional Danny Boy followed by a festive Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. Belles delighted the audience with All I Want for Christmas is You, complete with moves choreographed by Mrs Pettet and some energizing accompaniment by Mr Daldorph on the piano and Charlie Hayman on drums. Lastly, Senior Choir took on Take That’s Shine, and a fun arrangement of Santa Baby, featuring the rugby squad as elves or wearing Santa coats, with a more youthful Father Christmas usurping the Santa from earlier in the concert to great comedy effect.
The evening ended with a rousing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing for all, concluding a most enjoyable event and a memorable festive season of music-making here at Exeter School.
The concert can be heard online.