The eagerly anticipated Friends’ Cabaret Evening was held on Friday evening in the DCGS Hall. Tables were set, seating arranged, the bar opened and cheeseboards served as Swing Band began proceedings with an extensive and entertaining set. Drawing on participants from the High School and DCGS, this was a polished delivery coordinated by two conductors, with Mr Griffin from DCHS kicking off the show and Mr Silva bringing the swing to a close. In amongst the varied repertoire were many audience favourites, including Thriller, The Final Countdown and Skyfall.

As Swing Band departed the stage to rapturous applause, the Sax Quartet came forward with their energetic blend of reed sounds. After lively performances of The Muppet Show Theme, The Family Guy Theme and Honk (of jazz band fame), the tempo changed yet again as the Sixth Form Girls Choir, led by Mrs Langdale, performed tasteful renditions of Putting on the Ritz and Dream a Little Dream to a piano accompaniment.

Mr Tansley, buoyed by an impromptu audience performance of Happy Birthday for his big day, then counted in the Jazz Workshop as they performed Fever and Doxy. Their assured and tight playing belied the fact that they constitute the school’s introductory jazz group and you would be forgiven for mistaking the DCGS Hall for the hallowed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Moving up the age range, the student-led Freddie Gavita Jazz Combo took to the floor next with a latin-flavoured version of Autumn Leaves, featuring a guest spot on upright electric bass from Mr Tansley, a host of solos from trombone and electric guitar, trumpet, piano, tenor sax and drums.

Jazz Band rounded the cabaret off with characteristic aplomb and a well-received set of classics from Misty through to Lullaby of Birdland and Old Devil Moon. Solos were rewarded with rounds of applause and cheers from the audience, and there were inevitably calls for an encore at the end of the set. Mr Tansley obliged, and Jazz Band served up a dessert of Watermelon, courtesy of Herbie Hancock, as the final course.

Thanks go to the Friends of DCGS and their supporters for making Cabaret Night possible, to the musicians who took part, and to the music teachers at both schools for their unstinting efforts and guidance.