9 March 2018

This year’s Singers’ Platform focused on the work of a group of seven of Abingdon’s most able and committed singers aged 13 to 18. Between them they presented a range of repertoire from the 16th to 21st centuries. As in previous years, Andrew Yeats, Abingdon School’s singing teacher, accompanied all the performances and directed proceedings from the piano. 

The first half opened with new Music Scholar, Jamie Robson, in Dowland’s Weep ye no more, sad fountains, which he delivered most movingly. Jamie’s other performances included some Gluck and John Ireland’s Sea Fever. It is so good to see this ex-New College chorister’s voice maturing so beautifully.

Brooklyn Han opened with Bach’s aria, Mache dich, mein Hertz from the St Matthew Passion. Later we heard him in Mozart’s Das Veilchen, Fauré’s Automne and Britten’s If thou wilt ease thine heart. The quality of these performances augur well for his forthcoming A Level music recital.

Oscar Bennett, another chorister new to Abingdon from the New College stable sang wonderfully well in several songs – Durante’s Danza, danza fanciulla, some Hugo Wolf and Madeleine Dring’s Take, oh take those lips away. Oscar is enjoying his recent success in gaining a place with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.

Owen Ravden demonstrated a beautiful tone and his developing vocal skills in Papageno’s aria, Der Vogelfänger, from Die Zauberflöte, balanced later in the programme by Fauré’s Chanson d’Amour. Andreas Lo is producing a new baritone voice, which he presented first in a Mozart aria, from Die Zauberflöte followed by Poulenc’s La Grenouillère

It was also good to hear sixth former, Chanka Pathinayake, in another Mozart aria, this time one from the singspiel, Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

Reuben Havelock serenaded us with his forthcoming A Level recital – Mozart’s Se Vuol Ballare from Nozze di Figaro, Brahms’ Feldensamkeit, Vaughan Williams’ The Sky above the roof and, to conclude the concert, some music theatre – Jerry Bock’s Tonight at Eight, from She Loves me, complete with a New York accent and all the razzmatazz of Broadway. 

This was a great way to end another marvellous Singers’ Platform. As ever, our thanks must go to Andrew Yeats for all his inspired work with his students and to all the singers for a hugely enjoyable 60 minutes of music. 

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