Festive end to the term
Christmas Concert 2017
Showcasing 18 different ensembles, the Christmas Concert brought together music of many genres mixed with lots of festive fun.
Jazz was especially well represented, with Jazz Bands 1 and 2, plus Mr Bowen’s Swunk and Swunkette along with the small ensembles which have been formed this year, Blue Note and Birdland.
The Big Bands both delivered full, rich sounds, with some great improvised solos, whilst Swunk performed the classic Caravan, with an almost hypnotic bass line with further excellent solo playing.
The Swunkettes, with great vocals from Beth Pittman and Tabi Evans, were also in fine form and certainly impressed the audience. Blue Note and Birdland, directed last night from the drums by Mr Tamblyn, are groups largely drawn from the Middle Fifth who are growing in confidence and practical jazz experience. Moving towards rock, a band led by Teagan Jackson performed one of her own compositions.
The two sax groups both took to the stage on Thursday, the ensemble playing the quirky Joplin Peacherine Rag, whilst the quartet, featuring three new members this term who replaced Upper Sixth leavers, demonstrated that the reputation for top quality playing remains in safe hands with a slick performance of Niehaus’ Saxability.
The Harp Strings once again produced a delightful performance with a delicate Silent Night, whilst Maxi Brass, on this occasion conducted by Will Pearce and Matt Francis, produced a rich brass tone playing an arrangement of Nutcracker. The African Drummers began the second third with a bang, playing a dramatic traditional West African piece arranged by Mr Crossen and accomplished drummer Oliver Bates.
The choirs were also in good voice, with Mrs Guthrie’s Middle School Choir giving an energized performance of Defying Gravity and a festive Let it Snow. Senior Choir were more accurate in their weather predictions with Singin’ in the Rain, with the performers taking shelter under black umbrellas escaping from projected rain, whilst Belles conveyed Christmas spirit with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas featuring a solo from Katy Armstrong.
Our youngest performers of the evening, Junior Orchestra, launched the concert is style with Patapan and Frosty the Snowman. Mr Brimelow’s Concert Orchestra played the dramatic Rituals by Del Borgo, a challenging piece that they conveyed very effectively.
Downton Abbey theme was the popular choice of Symphony, which was accompanied by a hilarious video produced by Will Partridge. Featuring Mr Griffin, whose likeness to Hugh Bonneville resulted in much amusement, there were cameo appearances from Mrs Leach, Mr Mason, Dr Bawn, Romi Keliher, Matt Francis, Paddington and Mr Griffin’s dog, Whisper. It was a great finale to a wonderful evening’s entertainment.