26 November 2019

Friday’s termly Lower School Lunchtime Concert marked a new level in the development, range and standard of music in the Lower School. The concert included ensembles for brass and strings, a double bass duet, two performances and a presentation from boys on the harp, a Junior Blues item, two demonstrations of advanced drum kit playing and a Lower School Band to round things off with their rendition of Tequila!

We started with Junior Strings, an ensemble that is in particularly good shape at the moment with several relatively advanced players. Junior Blues followed with guitar teacher, Paul Owen at the helm, offering some great opportunities for drummer, George Blumfield, and several guitarists. A brass ensemble also played some New Orleans Americana.

A special moment came when Alexander Woolmer and former Lower School pupil, Reggie Lambert together gave a demonstration of the harp and each played a short piece on the lever harp. They were able to share their enthusiasm for playing and introduced the School’s new Concert Pedal Harp, which was purchased last week with funds from OA, David Allen. This harp will provide both inspiration and progression for those pupils fortunate enough to be able to start tuition on this fine instrument.

Several pianists were willing to brave the exposure of playing in front of their contemporaries – William Lyon, Sam Price and Josh Bromley – and they all acquitted themselves well and gained much from the experience. Other soloists included Daniel Chamberlin on the oboe, playing Song of the Forest with tremendous control and a lovely sound. Thomas Wilson (cello) gave a very impressive performance of a sonata by Eccles and double bassists, Freddie Clark and Aleksandar Ustic, together performed Canada Sleigh Ride.

Rock/Pop was well represented by 2nd Year guitarists Sean Hanlon and Aluinn McDonald with a selection of Rock tunes with plenty of pedal effects. Two First Year drummers, George Blumfield and Oscar Scannell, played with a maturity and at an advanced level more commonly found among sixth form pupils. Under bandmaster, Andy Townsend, Lower School band finished things off in style with an energetic performance of Chuck Rio’s Tequila, with plenty of energy and audience participation.

This was a tremendous concert – and we offer thanks to all the music teachers and congratulations to all the performers involved. It is clear that Lower School music at Abingdon is in thriving!

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