15 March 2017

The year’s fourth Scholars’ Concert preceded the inaugural Music Scholars’ Dinner in which we thanked the boys for their hard work, the teachers for their dedication and skill and the parents for their on-going support. We were particularly pleased that the Headmaster addressed us on this auspicious occasion and we hope that this dinner is a tradition that we can sustain.

The concert comprised some 20 solo performances by a wide variety of instrumentalists including pianists, woodwind, strings and brass. This concert demonstrated the great depth of solo talent; there was no duplication of pieces prepared for the Intermediate Solo Competition to be held the following evening, resulting in 37 performances in just over 24 hours!

We heard fine piano performances by Brooklyn Han (Beethoven), Oliver Breach (Haydn), Reuben Havelock (Handel’s The Harmonious Blacksmith), Andreas Lo (Chopin’s Waltz in B minor) and Didier Delgorge and Andy Zhang in Beethoven’s Sonata for 4 hands. Our woodwind soloist was Adam Bradley in How High the Moon, accompanied by his friend, Jonny Dawson.

Several brass players played before the interval – first, three tuba players, James Daly (Hindemith’s Sonata), Jude Stanley in Hartley’s folksy, Effie goes Dancing, and Arthur Boulton in Monti’s Czardas, an unlikely choice, you’d think with its virtuosic runs and accelerandos. Before the interval, Tom Hart, on trombone, delighted us with Greenwood’s The Acrobat.

String performances were given by cellists, Rafe Fleming in Bach’s Minuet, Joe Bradley in Debussy’s Scherzo and Hugo Payton in Vivaldi’s Largo and Allegro. Our violinists were Nicholas Raptakis, Ashwin Tennant, Alex Lawrence and Fergal Marsh in a range of repertoire, with Patrick Cole making a stand for the viola department with Leroy Anderson’s charming and amusing Fiddle-Faddle.

It was left to Upper Sixth tenor, Jamie Farrow, to sing us into the dinner with three pastoral Vaughan Williams songs, In DreamsWhither must I Wander and Bright is the Ring of Words from Songs of Travel.

This was a most enjoyable concert – our thanks to all the boys and their inspiring accompanists, Lynette Stulting, Mariette Pringle and Andrew Yeats.

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