Musicians’ work showcased at Spring Concert

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By Ho Keung, 6.1

The Spring Concert last Wednesday (13 March) showcased all the hard work from musicians across the school. The concert started with the Concert Band playing Poet and Peasant Overture by Franz Von Suppé. All the musicians enjoyed the unique and fun ensemble experience.

Our newly established Woodwind Ensemble presented the audience with a rather cheeky piece of music by Debussy – his famous Cake Walk. The Percussion Ensemble once again performed a high standard of music. This year we have three amazing new musicians in the Percussion Ensemble, who played Autumn by Vivaldi and Mission: Impossible by Lalo Schifrin, arranged by our percussion teacher, Simon Whittaker-Wade.

The Orchestra also amazed the audience with Dance Bacchanal from the Opera Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saens, as well as the theme tune from Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore. They are both technical, demanding pieces and the orchestra performed them really well.

After all the instrumental works, we had the Chamber Choir singing Miserere by Allegri. The highlight of the piece came when our soprano singer, Annia Grey, sang the famous ‘Top C’ note in her solo. Next, the school choir sang the Mass No. 2 in G by Schubert. Two singers who touched the heart of the audience are Isabella Doyle and Cassius Kay through their duet and solo.

Finally, the Jazz Band marked the end of the concert with three pieces, and Aidan Hall once again turned himself into Michael Bublé and sang Feeling Good. The Jazz Band, as usual, played to the highest standard and really entertained the audience.

Thank you to Doug Mcilwraith and Giacomo Pozzuto for their hard work on the concert, as well as Neil Hornby, who helped to run the concert, and the visiting music staff, who rehearsed with the musicians. We are so grateful to have some really talented staff – including Jo, Julia, Martin, Lucy and Clare – who joined us to take part in the course. And of course, thank you to Cathy Knowles, the Music School Administrator, for all her support to the Music Department every day.

‘Mind blowing’ performance of The Messiah

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What an honour it was to witness the music department’s much anticipated performance of Handel’s Messiah. We often forget what a comparatively small school we are and to produce such a juggernaut of a performance is mind blowing.

The Messiah is a piece of work that we all know, or think we know, and is often performed in parts, traditionally at Christmas although the piece was written for Easter. Nick Gleed, not known to be shy and retiring, bravely and skilfully directed the entire piece.

When speaking to Matthew Rice, Chairman of Governors, in the interval he commented that in days of yore soloists would have been shipped in. I asked what the difference was now, and he replied “the teaching”. So enormous credit must go to our back stage heroes who can elicit such a beautiful noise from young lungs. From the first note of Alex Yetman, we knew we were in for a treat.

It is perhaps unfair to single out any of the soloists but my evening was made complete by the purity of Pippa Lock’s voice and the wonderful surprise of James Holt singing Soprano. How delightful it is to see so many boys obviously enjoying the choral experience and the combined choirs filled the Quad spectacularly.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the delight of seeing and hearing Caleb on cello, playing with the expertise we have come to expect of this talented young musician. The Quad was full of parents, friends and visitors and the school must feel proud that everyone left knowing they had witnessed something very special.

View photos

By Jenni Brittain, Teacher of Drama and Housemistress


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.

Suppé, Beethoven and Elgar at Spring Concert

Bedales Spring Concert took place on 15 March in the Quad with a near capacity audience. The Bedales Concert Band opened the concert with Suppé’s Overture to The Poet and the Peasant, following by the First Orchestra performing the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. Callum Anderson was the soloist in C.P.E. Bach’s Piano Concerto in d-minor accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra. The second half of the concert was purely choral, starting with the sopranos and altos of the Chamber Choir singing Elgar’s ‘The Snow’ with Sofia Tavener and Miriam Wilford playing the solo violin parts. The tenors and basses from the Chamber Choir sang the Prisoners’ Chorus from Beethoven’s ‘Fidelio’ followed by ‘Winds Gently Whisper’ by John Whittaker. Olivia Brett sang ‘Amarilli  Mia Bella’ by Caccini and the concert concluded with the Cecilia Consort singing ‘Salvator Mundi’ by John Blow and Stanford’s ‘Beati Quorum Via’. View photos of Spring Concert rehearsals.

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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.

Invitation to Spring Concert and art exhibition

The Spring Concert, in the Quad on Friday at 7.30pm, includes all the familiar school ensembles. Concert Band will play the overture ‘Poet and Peasant’ by Suppé and the Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra will play the first movement from Beethoven’s 1st Symphony and a keyboard concerto by Philipp Emanuel Bach. The Prisoner’s Chorus from ‘Fidelio’ features among the choral works. The Dunhurst Community Art & Design Exhibition, in Bedales Gallery until 20 March, will be open after the concert. This biennial exhibition makes exuberant use of the gallery’s relatively generous wall-space, once again, alongside some charmingly imaginative 3-D work. To book concert tickets please email tickets@bedales.org.ukor telephone 01730 711511.

Dunhurst Community Art & Design Exhibition

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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.