The Christmas Concerts, on Wednesday and Friday evenings in the penultimate week of term, represent the culmination of this term’s rehearsals for the school’s bands, orchestras, and choirs. The hard work, effort and sheer delight in music-making was clear across both concerts.

The first of these concerts focused on the choirs and bands. This concert opened with the entire 1st Year singing ‘A Million Dreams’ from The Greatest Showman and ‘Let It Be’ before continuing with enthusiastic performances from Gospel Choir and the Abingdon Academicals. The sense of joy in the choir and the accompanying student band was palpable from the outset and it was lovely to have such an energising opening to the Christmas Concert. Two newly formed groups, a Clarinet Ensemble and the Percussion group also saw their first outings in this concert with some Klezmer music and a festive rendition of ‘Feliz Navidad’ respectively. The second half of the concert focused on the school’s various bands. Lower School band performed the Main Title Theme from Star Wars before Concert Band continued the film music theme with a medley of Superhero themes. The concert closed with the Big Band featuring a few old favourites as well as a couple of new numbers. There were some really assured solos in Big Band including Steven’s accomplished alto sax solo in ‘Feeling Good’. We shall certainly look forward to hearing more from the Big Band at the Cabaret performance in the Lent term.

The second concert showcased the schools’ orchestras. The concert opened with the Brass ensemble playing a number of renaissance dances before we heard from a middle school string quartet with an impressive rendition of Puccini’s Cristantemi. Chamber Orchestra followed with stirring performances of Holst’s Jig from the St Paul Suite and Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise. The concert was brought to an end by the two main school orchestras. Sinfonia offered a medley of themes from the Harry Potter films and Offenbach’s Can Can before Symphony Orchestra closed the concert with spectacular performances of Grieg’s Symphonic Dances and Parry’s Symphonic Variations. Symphony Orchestra rose to the various challenges in this repertoire well and we look forward to seeing how this newly organised orchestra fairs over the coming year.

Our thanks must go to the visiting music teachers, ensemble leaders, music staff and parents who have dedicated time to preparing these performances. The high level of musicianship across the board simply would not be possible without their support.

Follow the links below to watch the concerts on YouTube:

Concert 1  Concert 2

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