It was a great joy to come together and enjoy the performances of many Lower School musicians on Thursday 9 June after several disrupted years where this could not take place in the same way. For some, this represented their first opportunity to perform in front of their Lower School peers. To kick off the concert, Cantamus gave us a performance of the ubiquitous All Star by Smash Mouth, directed by Miss Linane. The commitment to projecting the lyrics and the uniformity that they displayed as an ensemble was impressive, this set a really positive tone for the acts that followed. The first half of the concert witnessed a number of solo performances, beginning with Isabelle White, courageously stepping forwards with her ‘cello. Harry Kinnear gave a particularly polished performance of Moonbeams by Arens on the piano. Penelope Brammer, Jessie Hayle and Charlie Piper all sang items with great energy and engagement. The Lower School’s instrumental ensembles gave us a delightful array of pieces, beginning with two pleasant works from the brass players led by Mr Foster. The musicians of Lower School Guitar Ensemble, led by Mrs Ford, gave us arrangements of two well-loved songs, Ed Sheeran’s Perfect and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Lower School Strings, directed by Mrs Holland, played the Theme from Swan Lake, which showed great confidence and expressive control. The strings players were then joined by Lower School Percussion Ensemble to play Four Nations Suite, which included some jolly arrangements of Drunken Sailor and The Irish Washerwoman.
After a short interval, the percussionists played Just the way you are by Bruno Mars, a fun arrangement where the melody was passed around the ensemble. The final solo singer of the evening, Ottó Stone, gave a heartfelt rendition of Menken’s Proud of your boy. We then were treated to a movement of Franck’s Sonata in A major, played by Elsa Marsh and Mr Davis. To hear such repertoire from a Lower School pupil is impressive, we can look forward to Elsa’s next big project! To finish the evening, we heard Lower School Choir singing several items by female composers: firstly, Songbird by Sarah Quartel, which showcased the choir’s abilities to sing in three-part harmony, then Drum Songs by Lin Marsh, which displayed a nice mix of lively rhythm, serenading lullabies and stirring harmony singing to end a fabulous display from Lower School’s musicians.