3 December 2020

Over the past ten days we have been delighted to welcome the Headmaster to the first years’ class music lessons. Many of the pupils were unaware that Mr Windsor is an accomplished double bass player who, as a teenager, had played in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and had gone on to develop his jazz bass playing at university, including the bass guitar.

The invitation was extended as part of our Michaelmas Term tradition of recruiting first year pupils for musical instruments. Mr Windsor brought along both his double bass and bass guitar to the music department and the boys learned first about the instrument in the context of the orchestral string family. They were able to hear some solos, including the scary opening motif from the movie, Jaws, and the depiction of “The Elephant” from Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnaval of the Animals”.

Mr Windsor went on to improvise a jazz bass solo explaining the role of a bass in the rhythm section and playing a walking bass, before picking up his bass guitar and playing a few riffs, several of which the pupils were able to identify. The boys were then allowed to try the double bass to get a feel for the instrument to see if they might wish to have some lessons.

Everyone appreciated Mr Windsor sharing his love of music – and his visit was enthusiastically received by all of the first years. Since our bass teacher, Miss Harré, is teaching via zoom at the moment it was a great opportunity for the boys to have this face-to-face demonstration. Early signs are that a few are keen to try out the bass – so our thanks must go to Mr Windsor for a job well done!

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