This term’s ‘Friday Night Classics’ was a superb concert, filled with an array of ensembles that showcased the high musical standard that the students of Oakham School work hard to achieve.
The evening began with an arrangement of Can you feel the love tonight, played by the Wind Band, and they played with a wonderfully warm tone to compliment the long, lyrical phrases. Their next piece was a contrasting, upbeat arrangement of I get around which they played with great energy.
Proceeding the Wind Band was this year’s English Song Competition Winner, Lily (soprano) who performed her winning piece, Benjamin Britten’s Johnny. This was a very satirical song about whatever any woman did to try and please Johnny, he would always end up with a glowering countenance. Lily performed it with such confidence and character and portrayed the humorous nature of the piece fantastically. Next up were this year’s Piano Duet Competition winners, Tom and Morgan, who performed The French Court from John McCabe’s ‘Two Scenes from Edward II’. This performance was brilliant and really showcased their musicianship, balanced with their sense of unity. They played with such energy, which allowed them to feed off each other’s parts, creating a well-rounded performance.
Next, Polyphonix performed a fantastic spiritual, I wish I knew how it would feel to be free, which originated from the slave trade. This was performed with conviction and a wonderful tone that rang out beautifully in the Chapel. Following on from this, a small chamber ensemble took the audience into a magical world with Debussy’s, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune. This performance illustrated a wonderful group of musicians that clearly enjoyed playing this music and therefore were very expressive in their playing, giving a performance that oozed with emotion. The Chamber Orchestra played an arrangement of Dvorák’s Allegro risoluto (Sonatina in G major, op. 100) and there was a wonderful feel of fluidity in their performance.
The Concert Band, directed by Keith Slade, concluded the concert with a superbly rousing programme of music. They began with the brilliantly energetic overture from Bernstein’s Candide, which was extremely complicated but performed with such ease by the Concert Band. Proceeding this was the four gypsy dances from van der Roost’s Puzsta, and each movement of this music had its own character. The pulling around of tempos and complicated rhythms were excellently in time, which injected animation into the performance. The band finished the evening with the audience clapping and cheering to the Raider’s March from Indiana Jones by John Williams, with the percussion being the main impetus.
It was a marvellous evening bursting with musical talent, and the students should feel extremely proud of such a fantastic concert.