Music – a look back at the Autumn Term
The Autumn term is always a busy one for the Music department, and this year, finally after a three-year break for reasons we all know too well, we were able to have a proper musical Christmas season!
It began with the Christmas Concert (in December this year!). The inner Barn was packed with parents fuelled with mulled wine and mince pies who were in good voice for the carols, accompanied by the orchestra.
Performance highlights included the Swing Band’s ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman’, the choir’s rendition of ‘Lunar Lullaby’ – a recent composition by Jacob Naverud, the Y5 & 6 Singers with ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’, and the Junior Choir’s ‘Cherry Tree Carol’ accompanied by Beatrice de Courcy –White on the bass guitar and Wade Stormonth-Darling on the glockenspiel. There were solos from Francesca Morris-Warburton on the saxophone with ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and Hadley Tranter-French on the cello with ‘The Dance of the Snowmen’.
The candle-lit Christingle for the Pre-Prep was next, and was a lovely opportunity for the younger children to perform, led by Year 3. The Carol Service was a lovely occasion too – the school community gathered at St. Nicolas’ in Arundel and the service was led by the choir. Their pieces included Neaum’s ‘Winds Through the Olive Trees’ and Handel’s ‘On Christmas Morn, in Bethlehem’. The Y8 Choristers (Eliza Fearon, Harry Wilmore, Neve Meurer, Coco Gray and Bella Boyce) also performed ‘I Wonder as I Wander’ beautifully.
We have also been treated to carols at breaktimes, with groups of instrumentalists performing carols in the woods, on the pitches, in the staff room, the kitchen and anywhere else they could find an audience! What fun!
Earlier in the term there were informal concerts for Years 1-4. They were really special occasions full of happy and confident children singing their hearts out. For Year 1 it was their first chance to do so, and for Year 3 the first opportunity to perform on the various instruments that they have chosen to learn.
Members of the Swing Band and other woodwind players were treated to a fun day of music making at Brighton College for their Jazz Day. They teamed up with other advanced players and were a force of nearly 75 – they made quite a sound! Their challenging setlist included classics such as `Let’s get Funky’,
Watermelon Man’, `Tequila’, `Just a Closer Walk With Thee’ (New Orleans Funeral March), `Havana’ and `Funky Town.’
James Ratcliffe took part in a concert organised by the Yehudi Menuhin School orchestra on his cello called ‘Perfect Pitch’, a football-themed affair, that saw the orchestra perform with over 200 singers, including India’s finest tenor Anando Mukerjee, and which included a rendition of ‘Nessun Dorma’ – a hark back to the World Cup of 1990.
Many children were entered for exams this term and all passed with flying colours. Worth a mention is Bella Boyce who took two ‘big’ exams in one day: Grade 6 clarinet and Grade 5 singing!