WaterAid concert raises £37,000 over 18 years
Exeter School music
The 18th annual concert in support of WaterAid took place on Wednesday evening at St Michaels and All Angels’ Church, Heavitree, and featured 10 of the school’s senior ensembles and around 170 pupils. With a huge thanks to sponsors South West Water and On Tap Water, the concert contributed to the £37,000 raised over almost two decades.
The event opened with three of Mr Brimelow’s ensembles – Concert Orchestra, Boys’ Barbershop and Chamber Choir. The ever-popular Pink Panther was followed by the Latin rhythms of Fiesta Tropicale in Concert Orchestra’s set, whilst Boys’ Barbershop transported us to the Deep South with I am a Man of Constant Sorrow, supported on the double bass by Adam Cole and Mr Tamblyn simultaneously playing both the keyboard and high hat cymbals. The mood changed with Chamber Choir’s serene unaccompanied Ubi Caritas by Duruflé and Stanford’s Beati Quroum Via, followed by the popular anthem The Lord Bless You and Keep You by Rutter and a less well-known piece, Listen Sweet Dove by British composer Grayston Ives.
Symphony Orchestra followed, with a movement from the Bruch Violin Concerto op.26, with Upper Sixth soloist Georgia Ling delivering an impressive performance. Concluding the first half of the programme, the audience were delighted by Bizet’s Carmen Suite, in which the players were clearly enjoying themselves.
Mr Moore’s Jazz Band 1 set the second half off in style with Big Dipper, featuring some intricate solos by Jamie Stephenson on trumpet and Dmitry Barker-Primalov on sax, followed by a smooth Blue Monk with solos from Theo Collins on trombone and George Daldorph on piano. The third and final orchestra of the evening were Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Mr Tamblyn. Their programme featured another of our Upper Sixth violinists, Oliver Bates on the solo part in Vivaldi’s Winter from the Four Seasons and then the finale of Haydn Symphony no. 88, complete with a dramatic pause originally resulting from a page turn but on the night integrated to form part of the performance.
Vocal Ensemble presented a varied selection within their set. That Lonesome Road was sensitively sung, whilst the hauntingly beautiful Sleep by contemporary composer Eric Whitacre, with its technically challenging chords, was delivered with assurance and style. Ending with something completely different, the mood lightened with The Bare Necessities, the favourite from The Jungle Book.
Then came the turn of our brass and wind ensembles, Senior Brass and the Sax Quartet. The Brass group repeated their Founders' Day fanfare of Marche de Procession whilst the Chanson d’Amour featured some super ensemble as well as solo lines from many members of the group. The Saxophone Quartet delivered contrasting styles with an arrangement of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, including some careful and controlled dynamics, followed by Yakety Sax, best known as the theme tune to The Benny Hill Show.
Belles Canto ended the concert with a smooth arrangement of California Dreaming and an enthusiastic Super Trooper, complete with choreography, in which Mrs Guthrie invited the audience to join in – a fun conclusion to a diverse and entertaining evening.
All profits from ticket sales and collections at the concert are going to WaterAid to support their many projects throughout the world. Director of Environment & Sustainability (Pennon Group), Ed Mitchell, in his brief talk after the interval, explained that over the years, Exeter School concerts in aid of WaterAid have raised around £37,000, and that these funds have transformed the lives of thousands of people, enabling them to access clean water. Grateful thanks to the concert’s sponsors South West Water and On Tap Water for their support of this concert.
Although the public exam season is almost with us, there are still musical events to come this year. The first of these is the Middle School Concert, happening on Thursday 16 May in the Music Hall. Tickets are now on sale via the box office.