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School orchestra play with solo trombone in concert

Amazing Autumn Concert

10th November 2022

Oakham’s musicians were on fine form at the first major Chapel concert of the academic year, presenting a thrilling Autumn Concert full of variety and excellence.

The 55-strong Concert Band opened the programme, with their musicians aged 10-18 performing with conviction and a great depth of sound. Their repertoire embraced entertaining medleys of music by The Beatles and ABBA, which they contrasted with a moving rendition of Elgar’s Nimrod looking ahead to the season of Remembrance the following week.

Form 7 pianist Jan Seelig was the first of three Upper School soloists on the night, proving himself more than equal to the significant technical challenges of Ravel’s evocative Jeux d’eau which served as an exquisite interlude before the entry of the Chamber Choir. Their choral selection opened with Mack Wilberg’s moving arrangement of Shenandoah (accompanied by both piano and organ), before a rare performance of Arensky’s Three Quartets, which featured the moving and virtuosic solo ‘cello playing of Form 6 ‘cellist, Ethan Taylor. The choir then captured a festive mood as they concluded the first half of the concert with Handel’s popular Hallelujah Chorus.

The Symphony Orchestra took to the stage after the interval, supporting brilliant Form 7 trombonist Archie Foster in his resonant and accomplished performance of Guilmant’s Morceau symphonique. Archie then re-joined the orchestra for their final two works, beginning with a mature performance of Smetana’s challenging and narrative tone poem, Vltava. The concert finished in a blaze of orchestral colour with Malcolm Arnold’s Anniversary Overture.

Congratulations to all our singers and instrumentalists, as well as three brilliant music scholars, for achieving such a high standard so early in the academic year!

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