The sonorous and richly harmonised Lower School Brass pieces that opened the St Cecilia’s Day evening of Lower School Live were followed by Emily in a stylish guitar performance of Amontillado and Daisy’s gentle, flowing account of Traumerie on the saxophone. Cantamus sang Over My Head and then gave us When I Grow Up from Matilda. They brought a great sense of ensemble and some impressive part-singing to this and seemed to represent the pupils from the show very aptly. The Guitar Ensemble had plenty of spicy rhythms in the Mexican folk dance that preceded a representation of Happy Places by Dante on the cello. The audience was entranced by both this and by Simi’s singing of One hand, one heart from West Side Story. Lower School Strings led into the interval, with syncopation and pizzicato, in St Cecilia’s Rag.
The Lower School Percussion Ensemble mesmerized the audience with both sound and gesture in their stunning performance of Shake ‘n’ March. Patrick's evocative piano solo Up on the Hill was then followed by a tour de force of drumming from Eddie in Building the Beat. The Lower School Wind Ensemble began with a processional arrival into Easy Winners and then gave a flowing account of My Heart Will Go On. Ethan’s enigmatic Novelette and Beatrice’s haunting Gabriel’s Oboe were an expressive high point of the evening. The Lower School Choir framed their exceptionally complex and energetic performance of Purcell’s Sound the Trumpet and another St Cecilia’s day song from John Blow, Excesses of Pleasure, with the lively Went the Day Well? and, finally, Ev’ry time I feel the spirit.
Well done to everyone who performed in this lively and impressive concert.