17th concert in aid of charity
The 17th annual Exeter School concert supporting WaterAid took place in St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Heavitree and was a great success both musically and in raising funds for this very worthy charity.
The programme featured ensembles from across the senior school, providing the opportunity for our younger instrumentalists in Concert Orchestra to be inspired by our talented more senior players, including concerto soloists Oran Friar and William Pearce.
Concert Orchestra set the event off in style with a rousing Mazurka from Swan Lake. With Mr Brimelow conducting, this technically challenging piece was carried off with a flourish.
Mrs Guthrie’s Belles Canto are always popular with the audience, and their charming performance of All You Have to Do Is Dream and Blue Moon were beautifully tuned with sensitive dynamics and a relaxed jazz feel. A generally younger group than the Belles, Boys’ Barbershop nevertheless similarly engaged the audience with their cheeky choice of Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart) and Lollipop. This thriving group is proving highly successful in keeping our boys singing through the Middle School years when voices are changing, and most importantly, makes singing fun.
Chamber Choir, accompanied by Mr Daldorph on the church organ, began their set with Joubert’s O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing, and followed with two favourites from the sacred choral tradition – Mozart’s Ave Verum and Howells’ Like As the Hart. The choir achieved a well-balanced and full sound and are to be congratulated on their mellow blend.
The fourth choir of the evening was Mr Brimelow’s Vocal Ensemble, who choice local composer Stephen Tanner’s arrangement of Deep River, and then contrasted this by a stompy theme from New York, New York, no doubt bringing back happy memories of last summer’s choir tour to Manhattan.
Mr Moore’s Jazz Band 1 started the second half with gusto with I Love You, featuring vocals from William Pearce, and followed with Us by Jones, with some excellent solos by Sam Corney, Mark Malone and Daniel Wilcock, supported by the band’s fantastic rhythm section. Retaining the jazz theme, Senior Brass played the Jazz Fugue in D Minor – Bach, arranged by Kingston. The inter-weaving lines show-cased the individual talents within the group. The smallest of the ensembles performing on Wednesday was Saxophone Quartet, directed by Mr Greenwood. Playing Groovin’ at Sam’s Place, the quartet demonstrated excellent blend, ensemble and dynamics.
There was some especially fine woodwind playing in Chamber Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Symphony No. 25, movt. 1, whilst Symphony featured firstly the Violin Concerto, movement 1 with Oran Friar giving a virtuoso solo performance which prompted a standing ovation. Following this was William Pearce’s rendition of Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto, movt. 2, which was another very fine performance by a multi-talented musician which was again greatly appreciated by the listeners. Symphony’s set concluded with the theme from The Magnificent Seven, which the orchestra clearly enjoyed playing.
We are very grateful to the concert’s sponsors, South West Water, and are delighted to have once again helped the valuable work of WaterAid.Although many of our senior pupils begin exam leave next week, many of the younger pupils will be featuring in the Middle School Concert on 17 May. Tickets are now on sale for this via box office http://www.exeterschool.org.uk/box-office/buy-tickets/item/middle-school-concert-1705