Enriching Spring Concert

This year’s Spring Concert, held in the Quad last Friday, opened with the Concert Band’s rousing rendition of the First Suite for Military Band by Gustav Holt, played with real energy and enthusiasm under the assured direction of Keir Rowe.

We were treated to the fourth movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, the London Symphony.  This is a challenging piece for all concerned, but the Orchestra was lead confidently by Sofia Tavener (6.2) and directed clearly and musically by Nick Gleed.

Handel’s Concerto Grosso op. 6 No. 4 was played by the Chamber Orchestra and directed by William Lithgow from the harpsichord. Nick Gleed played the organ which, as it turned out, was the last time we heard the organ in the concert as it broke down; a real shame as some of the choral works in the second half of the concert would have been enriched by its contribution. Giacomo Pozzuto – oboe, and Sofia Tavener – violin, played beautifully together shaping the phrases as one.

The second half of the concert opened with an outstanding performance by Olivia Brett (6.2), accompanied by Nick Gleed, performing Schubert’s very taxing and remarkably written Gretchen am Spinnrade.

The Cecilia Consort sang Christe qui lux et dies by Robert White, which opens with a plainchant taken up by wonderful part writing for the full Consort. The Consort followed with Robert Pearsall’s Lay a Garland – an eight-part polyphony of wondrous beauty.  The Consort finished with ‘And so it goes’ – words by Billy Joel and music arranged by Bob Chilcott.  I have never heard the Consort sing so fluidly as one, exceptionally good balance – a treat to hear a choir really listening to each other in this moving piece.

The full school Choir sang Peter Cornelius’ Stromflut after the Sarabande from J.S. Bach’s English Suite No. 3; followed by Jonathan Batishill’s ‘O Lord look down from heaven’ and the Kyrie from Dvorak’s Mass in D.  The final piece of the concert was Blessed be the God and Father, a wonderfully rousing and spiritually uplifting old timer by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

The whole concert left one feeling enriched and proud to be part of something very important to the school, and definitely something valuable that must be celebrated.

By Phillip Guy-Bromley, Head of Vocal Studies

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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