The School’s orchestras have enjoyed an excellent year of performances, leading up to their final Oakham concert of the season on Friday 21 June. They offered a wide-ranging programme of popular orchestral classics, which was hugely appreciated by the Chapel audience.
Under the direction of Head of Strings, Mr Martin Cropper, the Chamber Orchestra set the standard, offering a vigorous and stylish account of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 to open the programme. The string players were then joined by their woodwind, brass and percussion playing peers in the Symphony Orchestra to present a charming Serenade by the 20th Century Welsh composer, William Mathias. Music from the Baroque returned to conclude the first half in the shape of Handel’s famous Music for the Royal Fireworks, in which the full Symphony Orchestra captured both the ceremonial grandeur of the work as well as the spirit of the contrasting dance movements.
With the audience suitably refreshed after the interval, the dance spirit return with an orchestral performance of Brahms’ popular Hungarian Dance No. 5, albeit in a rather jazzy-infused modern arrangement by Iain Farrington. It was then the turn of our featured soloist to join the orchestra. Form 7 soprano Lily brought poise, musicality and vocal maturity to her performance of the evergreen Songs of the Auvergne by Canteloube, as well as fearlessly coping with the challenge of singing in the regional dialect Occitan! The final orchestral tour de force came from the Italian composer Rossini, with the whole orchestra rising to the challenge of his fabulous Overture to William Tell, which included excellent solo playing by Alina ‘cello, Emilia cor anglais and Jessica flute.
Congratulations to all the performers, and best wishes to the Symphony Orchestra and Chapel Choir when they embark on their one week tour to Latvia in early July.