From Stalin’s Moscow to the Austria of Mozart and Brahms

The Cecilia Concert has the reputation for its eclectic programming but 2013’s must be the most extreme yet: from Stalin’s Moscow to the Austria of Mozart and Brahms with plenty of stops in between. Keir Rowe began the music with a brilliantly spirited performance of Shostakovich’s Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra. Clearly this was the composer letting off steam during the Soviet Union’s worst decade and the Concert Band whirled their way expertly through the music. The next part of the orchestral half was much more traditional with the First Orchestra playing Brahms’ St Anthony Variations and Will Lithgow conducting the Chamber Orchestra in a wonderfully poised rendition of Mozart’s Divertimento. The second half of the concert was devoted to choral music with the Barbershop Boys, the Cecilia Consort and Choir all performing. As a singer in the latter Nick Gleed‘s programme notes confirmed my fears calling the C.P.E. Bach Magnificat ‘astonishingly difficult’ and ‘unfathomable’ and yet the audience enthusiastically received the 182-bar ‘Amen’. Congratulations must go to everyone in the Music Department for arranging yet another highly successful concert.

By Nick Meigh, Teacher of History and Choir member

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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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Music case study – Toby Matimong, 2013 leaver

How old were you when you joined Bedales Schools (did you start at Dunannie/ Dunhurst/ Bedales)?
I joined Bedales Schools in the last year of Dunhurst, at the age of 12.

What was your previous school?
I had been at The Portsmouth Grammar School for 3 years beforehand, having moved there from The Channel Islands.

What are your preferred instrument(s)?
I’m constantly trying to decide which is my first study: piano, trombone or singing? I’ve come to the conclusion that if forced to continue with one alone I would choose piano, owing to its huge repertoire and musical usefulness.

What do you consider to be your best musical achievements to date?
I was overjoyed to be awarded a Piano Grade 8 mark of 146 out of 150!

How has Bedales helped the development of your music?
Each member of the music department, peripatetic teachers included, is determined to fit music into and around the already hectic timetable. It’s this continuous dedication that has allowed me and my peers to develop in the last 6 years, and the same dedication has inspired us to aim even higher.

Who or what is your greatest musical inspiration?
It’s always difficult to say who or what is a source of inspiration. I suppose I’ve learnt from my instrumental and academic teachers alike that the most successful way to learn is to enjoy; by enjoying something you will be inspired to do better with it.

Any musical interests outside of lessons (orchestras/ societies/ bands)?
I’ve been playing first trombone in the First Orchestra and Concert Band for the last five years, as well as occasionally playing with the Chamber Orchestra, with whom I recently performed the third movement of Launy Grøndahl’s Trombone Concerto. I also sing in the school’s Chamber Choir and Cecilia Consort. On a more informal basis two other students and myself have spent the last 2 terms preparing a Haydn Piano trio for an examined recital, and I am part of the recently-founded Madrigal Society.

What do you hope to achieve in your music over the next few years at Bedales and beyond?
I have accepted a one-year placement in the music department of Sherborne School in conjunction with a choral scholarship at Sherborne Abbey. I’m looking forward to teaching and learning as much as I can, which will hopefully assist a university application to read music at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2014.

What do you like best about Music at Bedales?
Music is always about people; who you are performing with, who you learn from, who is conducting you, who you can share it with. Music at Bedales is full of wonderful people that make all of these experiences wonderful too.

Toby Matimong

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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.

Musicians impress at St Luke’s

Musicians from the school’s Chamber Orchestra and Cecilia Consort performed the annual London showcase lunchtime recital in St. Luke’s, Chelsea on 7March. The concert opened with Callum Anderson playing the Final from Vierne’s First Organ Symphony, setting a challenge of virtuosic exactness and intelligent understanding which was ably sustained by every subsequent soloist and ensemble musician. Members of the Cecilia Consort, in works by Edward Elgar, Charles Stanford and John Blow, demonstrated a choral integrity and emotive impulse which would be the envy of any cathedral choir. The post-Renaissance dramatization of word-setting in monody and operatic ensemble was beautifully conveyed by Olivia Brett, Immy Welch, Ellie Lester and Georgie Gulliver in music by Caccini and Humperdinck. The concert concluded with a suitably spirited performance of CPE Bach’s Piano Concerto in d-minor by Callum and the Chamber Orchestra. View photos.

By Nicholas Gleed, Director of Music

Musicians impress at St Luke’s

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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.