Music concerts at Challoner’s are always a demonstration of the talent found among our students, with this year’s Spring Concert being no exception. Stunning strings, breathtaking brass, captivating conducting and even a rendition of the Star Wars theme from Guitar Ensemble - this concert really had it all!

The concert started powerfully with Chamber Orchestra taking to the stage. Performing English Folk Song Suite by Vaughan Williams, all sections of the orchestra showcased their skill through three contrasting movements, and players from the woodwind section showed off their technical ability with some demanding yet lyrical solos.

Audio: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/417420810&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false

Brass Ensemble

The Guitar Ensemble were the next group to perform. We were delighted to hear the familiar tones of Star Wars being expertly plucked even in the absence of their conductor. A piano solo from Zach Yarrow followed. Most impressive about this was that it was one of his original compositions, aptly named Les Collines des Chilterne (The Chiltern Hills). Mr Wainwright’s Brass Ensemble followed and sparked a game of 'Guess the Tune' with a performance of three sea shanties.

Audio: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/417420726&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false

A personal highlight for me was Mr Gee’s String Orchestra with a phenomenal rendition of three movements from Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony. The first movement drew you in, intriguing you with Playful Pizzicato. As the dramatic notes of the second movement rang across the hall I was absorbed by the piece and the passion of the musicians, feeling heartbroken at how sorrowful it all sounded. The third movement concluded the piece beautifully, with a rise in tension and volume to finish on an explosive note. It was an incredibly visceral performance which showed the truly unbelievable talent of the performers.

After this came a piano duet of Le Bal by Bizet from Matthew Levine and Bobby Carter and performances from the String Sextet, the Choir, the Clarinet Quartet and the Sixth Form Chamber Choir. All of these were excellent and served as a magnificent addition to the evening.

To finish, things took a jazzy turn. Jazz Workshop performed well after a last-minute arrival from their drummer, and were followed by a melodic and technical guitar solo from Tom Burke. The Sixth Form jazz group Delta Blues came next, with fantastic solos from its members, and afterwards the Saxophone Quartet added to the high-quality jazz performances.

Audio: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/417420393&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false

As always, the Jazz Band gave an astonishing performance that ended the evening with a bang. The brass and woodwind worked to provide a smooth groove which was accompanied by some excellent drumming. The solos were plentiful and all terrific and everyone in the audience was in awe of the calibre of musicianship on display.

Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening which showcased the efforts of the students and the teachers involved. Thanks to Mr Tansley and the Music Team for organising and producing such a fantastic evening.

AudioPlaylist: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/478279386&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false