Spring Term Music News
Friday, 18 March 2016
Family and friends gathered in the School Hall on the evening on Thursday 11th February to witness some outstanding performances at our Piano Recital Evening. The evening got off to an exciting start as we unveiled the first ever Presdales keyboard ensemble. Nicole Fenman, Charlie Head, Alessia Mariotti and Connie Robinson joined forces on stage to perform Kraftwerk’s “The Model”. In total, twenty nine students performed and, as well as many fine solo performances, we were treated to duets from Madeleine Bennett and Hattie Birchinall, Kirsten Rugg-Gunn and Carrie Craig, plus Madeline Bryan and Bethany Vaughan. The students demonstrated the full range of styles available to the pianist, from fun jazzy-style pieces to Chopin heavyweights, but everyone played with great assurance, evidence that performance standards rise when opportunities are created frequently enough. From conversations both during the interval and at the end, it was clear just how much the audience had enjoyed their evening and everyone went home looking forward to the next one!
Spring Concert (I)
This year’s Spring Concert (I) took place on Tuesday 8th March and featured a wide variety of ensembles and soloists from Year 7 to Year 13. The fifty-five strong Concert Band kicked off the evening in style with a Spanish influenced piece, ‘Fuego Del Alma’ followed by ‘A Tribute To Whitney Houston’. The clarinet ensemble was directed by Annabel Lever and Rebecca Dyche, Year 13, and performed a quirky arrangement of Three Blind Mice alongside a soothing ’Tango’, transporting the audience to the sounds of the Mediterranean. One of the most memorable highlights of the evening was Madeline Bryan’s performance of the second movement of Grieg’s ‘Piano Concerto in A Minor’, accompanied by the orchestra. Madeline played with poise and elegance, supported by a sensitive orchestral accompaniment under the direction of Mrs Slade. The second half of the concert included a very loud and lively samba group with Miss Wilson, in addition to a superb rendition of well known opera themes and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Sir Duke’, performed by the brass ensemble (directed by Mr Nunn). There were outstanding solo performances from our Year 13 leavers Charlotte Lee (flute), Annabel Lever (clarinet) and Anna Sharman (voice) and a beautiful interpretation of the vocal duet ‘I Know Him So Well’ sung by Hannah Lynch and Lydia King. The concert concluded with the Little Big Band playing ‘Man In The Mirror’, ‘Don’t Know Why’ (sung by Year 13 leaver Elysia Moncur-Byrne) and a real foot tapping, authentic performance of ‘When The Saints’ in a traditional New Orleans marching band jazz style. The students rehearsed tirelessly for the concert and the outcome was simply stunning yet again.
Spring Concert (II)
The Spring Choral Concert took place on Thursday 17th March to a sell-out audience. It featured the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs as well as the Sax Ensemble and a brilliant clarinet solo by Rebecca Dyche. The Junior Choir, directed by Miss Mapplebeck, performed ‘Siyahamba’ and ‘Hold Back The River’ with great gusto. The Chamber Choir performed ‘Can't Help Lovin' That Man’ and ‘Balulalow’ with real poise and beauty. The Senior Choir conducted by Miss Cheetham performed a trilogy of three David Bowie songs brilliantly. The second half saw the first performance of the cantata ‘All The World's A Stage’ specially composed by Director of Music, Paul Burrell to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare. It featured eleven songs with extracts or narrations from Shakespeare. The students were really on song for this piece and the narrators read with real fluency. It was Mr Burrell's last concert of this kind and Mrs Robinson thanked him warmly for 25 years of service at the school.