Autumn Serenade Ensembles Concert

The concert began with two amazing, confident performances from the Concert Band. We were treated to an upbeat sound, Santana’s Smooth, followed by a calm swing piece, Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade, featuring an assured performance on the clarinet from Jennifer (Lower VI).

This switch in tone between the pieces was made effortlessly by the players. Next came the Wind Ensemble with renditions of Rock Around the Clock and Summer Nights. These were both kept in time really nicely with great dynamics showcasing the different instruments in the ensemble.

The Staff Choir was great fun, and it was clear that they were all enjoying themselves – they sang a lovely version of California Dreamin’, which was chosen really well for the voices available and sung very charismatically.

The choir was followed by the String Orchestra who played Firework (Katy Perry) which had fantastic bowing from them all, led confidently by Eli (Upper IV) even though it was quite difficult.

The ending was amazing, very coherent and a great note to end the piece on. This pop piece led on nicely to a classic from Stevie Wonder, Sir Duke, performed by the saxophone ensemble in an amazing performance that really showcased the diversity of the students involved. This was followed by the inaugural performance of the first, fully student-led ensemble, the Berlioz ensemble.

This quintet was the brain-child of Helena (Lower VI) who chose the music, organised rehearsals and led the performance with charisma and professionalism. Having heard the harp as a member of this ensemble, it was then a real joy to be treated to the full Harp Ensemble and their piece, Dorian Dreamer. This was performed confidently by all the players, and they were amazing at including all the dynamics to create a wonderful, peaceful escape.

This feeling was carried through by the Senior Choir singing You Raise Me Up, which created an almost tangible atmosphere which was a delight to experience. The high notes were sung expertly and the harmony was maintained throughout.

We then got to hear the Concert Band with two more songs, Skyfall (Adele) and Señorita (Cabello and Mendes). The drums were played marvelously by Mia (Lower VI) as the backing to an exquisite performance with amazing dynamics that created a fun, upbeat ambience. The Clarinet Ensemble treated us to a magnificent rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and an astounding solo from Kate (Lower VI). The clarinets were all so in sync it sounded like one player, a feat difficult to achieve by an ensemble of so many.

Last but certainly not least, an astonishing performance from the Symphony Orchestra that stunned the audience by its professionally rich sound. It was led expertly by Tara (Upper V) and conducted beautifully by Ms Bilkey, which all merged to create a wonderful finale to round off a superb night of music-making.

This concert truly encapsulated what it is to be a musician.
Cristina, Lower VI