It was wonderful to welcome back a number of younger OOs from the classes of 2012 to 2017 on Saturday 19 January to give a charity concert in aid of the National Foundation for Youth Music. The event was organised by Matthew Curtis OO as a creative project in his final year of undergraduate vocal studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Thanks to his encouragement, the Chapel once more resounded to the glorious singing and playing of a number of former pupils, and it was good to welcome many of their families and friends in the audience too.
Many of Matthew’s fellow first study singers were on the programme, and the audience enjoyed everything from early music by Monteverdi, Charpentier & Purcell to the Lieder of Schubert and Brahms, from arias and duets by Haydn, Bellini, Weber & Puccini to songs by Verdi, Debussy & Elgar. Glorious soprano singing from Olivia Carrell and Amy Walker was matched by the baritones Alex Bower-Brown, Edwin Lambert & Jack Lee, rounded off by Matthew’s own tenor voice. Instrumental interludes included a moving Sibelius duet for violin & viola (Isobel Thompson & Lydia Taylor), clarinet music from Harriet Flather (supported by her former teacher, David Graham OO), and string solos by Emma Farmer ‘cello and Jessica Tomey violin. The musicians took a final choral trip down memory lane in choosing to sing the Bruckner motet, Locus iste, as an apt encore, conducted by Director of Music, Peter Davis, who also accompanied throughout the evening.
The audience clearly enjoyed what they heard, with £635 being taken in a retiring collection for the National Foundation for Youth Music.