28 June 2018
Our Lower School Gala Concert presented an array of talent from the lower years of the school and gave parents, teachers and boys a chance to hear some of the wonderfully promising musicians that we are so lucky to have at our school. The concert was well attended, as all 120 boys were performing. Mr Cotton devised the programme for this year’s event, which combined a mixture of solos, chamber groups and large ensembles many of which are rehearsed on a regular basis in school.
The audience could not fail to be struck again by the wealth, breadth and sheer quality of solo talent in our 2nd Year. They included solos by Oliver Northwood (clarinet), Thomas Harding (saxophone), Jonathan Pannett-Smith, Rory Kind and Oliver Smith (violin), Shreyanshu Mohanty (viola), Oliver Glover (cello), Felix Kind (trombone), Luke Prior (tuba), Stefano Rajasundaram (guitar), and Alfie Luo (piano).
We also heard fantastic performances from a number of accomplished soloists in the 1st Year: Can Tugcetin and Jack Higgs (bassoon), Jack Cabell (voice), Khadim Sagna (trumpet), Thomas Chorley and Charlie Leyland (piano) and Can Tugcetin (double bass). Toby Lee provided a masterclass in rock drumming with Le Freak, by Chic, drumming to an accompanying sound track.
A good variety of ensembles included Junior Strings in Burt Bacharach’s Raindrops Keep Falling and the Theme from Star Wars. The Lower School Band gave us Pennsylvania 65000 and a lovely trumpet solo from First Year trumpeter, Khadim Sagna. The Lower School String Quartet performed beautifully – Two Rondeaux from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. The Junior Blues Society played a medley of songs from Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple and Guns’n’Roses, each tune giving a different guitarist a chance to lead or to solo.
It was lovely to see the Lower School singing enthusiastically and with a secure tone in Under the Broadwalk by The Drifters. One of Mr Cotton’s many fine achievements during his time with us has been to select attractive songs for the Lower School singing and to direct them with such a sense of fun. Mr Cotton is moving from Abingdon at the end of term and we are indebted to him.
Our retiring collection was to help raise funds for the Music Society, who have sent funds to Zambia to help OA, Carl Olavesen (2017), in his music work with Mambwe School during his gap year under the auspices of Raleigh International, about which he sent a video of thanks.
We, in turn, thank the boys and teachers who made possible such a wonderful celebration of music in the Lower School.