Strings in Spring

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Strings in Spring

Informal string concert

The second of our informal string concerts took place on Wednesday 6 March, featuring 16 solo performances and two of the String Quartets.

The Junior School was represented by George Gillingham, Dulcie Mason and Alice Kotting, all on their violins. George achieved a real sense of occasion and stately assurance in his performance of Charpentier’s Prelude from Te Deum. Dulcie successfully captured the spirit of the Cossacks piece by Colledge, whilst Alice playing Song from the Show with excellent attention to tuning and rhythm.

The concert featured eight other solo violinists, from Third Form pupil Emily Ahmad, whose The Girl I Left Behind had a lovely traditional folk feel, up to Upper Fifth pupils Lily Howe, who delivered a lyrical performance of Intermezzo by Mascanni, and Theo Collins, who gave a sensitive and uplifting performance of a piece by Elgar. The Fourth Form was well-represented in the concert, with Albert Cooper Wedge opening proceedings with Arnold’s Scottish Dance, demonstrating the full range of his instrument. Also in this year group were Amelia Johnson, playing Wild West with a suitably jaunty lilt and musical assurance, Tristan Mash, whose rendition of Israeli Concertino without music was delivered with aplomb, and Spiro McKinnel, whose careful tuning and articulation were much appreciated by the audience. A further Cossack theme came in Middle Fifth pupil Rachel Honeyball’s performance of Cossack Dance by Kraemer, with some lovely sensitive playing.

Our one solo viola player was Archie Tear, who gave a gentle rendition of Berceuse by Bridge. Four of Mr Allnatt’s ‘cello pupils treated us to a variety of pieces, demonstrating the mellow range of the instrument. Two Fauré pieces were especially effective – Lauren Hughes playing Sicilienne with a pleasing rich tone and sensitive pizzicato and Francesca Vercoe with a dramatic and moving Romance in A, accompanied by her Mum, peripatetic piano teacher Mrs Vercoe. Lower Fifth pupil Amber Moeller played La Cinquantaine by Marie with some lovely dancing rhythms, whilst Sixth Former Edward O’Connor performed the famous unaccompanied Prelude in G by Bach in an impressive, accomplished performance.

The concert also featured two of the school’s String Quartets. The first to play were Tristan Mash, Spiro McKinnel, Emily Ahmad and Phoebe Redfern, whose March in D by Handel was both delicate and charming. Cantilena by Rose was the choice of the other Quartet, which features Louis Solon, Serena Ling, Ella Byrne and Lauren Hughes. The likeness to the theme of Blackadder sent the audience away smiling, having enjoyed around an hour or music.

Our final Informal Concert is a new addition to the series. With 11 pupils learning the harp, a concert just featuring this instrument can be enjoyed at 4pm on Wednesday 20 March in the Music Hall – all are welcome to come and listen.

The programme and recording are online.