Oakham School musicians of all ages put on a fabulous and entertaining concert on the evening of Friday 25 March. Entitled A Musical Carnival, it was once again wonderful to hear such vibrant live music-making in Chapel.
The performance opened with the Wind Band, under the direction of Miss Wardell. Their ‘Celtic Dance and Dance No. 2’ demonstrated their command of both lyrical and upbeat Celtic folk styles, before going on to give a spirited rendition of the Neil Diamond hit song, ‘Sweet Caroline’. The Form 3 music award holders then took to the stage to play a composition they had written themselves, aptly capturing the mood of ‘A Sad Scene’ in an ensemble piece for flute, two violins, tenor saxophone and piano.
The audience in Chapel then got a taste of the Spring Term’s two music competitions, as we heard from the overall winner (Chloe H) and runner-up (Evie H) of the Singing Competition, and the higher grades winners of the Piano Duet Competition (Alan L & Jan S). All four performers impressed with their command of their contrasting musical styles, whilst appearing perfectly at ease in front of a large audience in the Chapel.
The concert took its name from the next work in the programme – the headline performance of The Carnival of the Animals¸ featuring no fewer than six Upper School pianists (Paul F, Samantha H, Alan L, Obi O, Jan S & Hattie T). This was the brain-child of the Head of Piano, Anne Bolt, with the pianists working in collaboration with the Chamber Orchestra, two OO woodwind players, and a number of featured string and percussion soloists (Eddie M, Finn S & Ansh V). The work’s brilliant sequence of fourteen colourful movements proved to be an amazing vehicle for the School’s instrumentalists, all of whom rose to the occasion with great aplomb. Their standing ovation was richly deserved, with countless plaudits for the “phenomenal pianists”, the musicality of the performers, and their impressive ensemble performance.
After an exhilarating first half of the concert, the Big Band took to the stage for the second half of the concert under Mr Foster’s direction. They opened their set with an exciting performance of instrumental music from The Incredibles as their first of eight musical numbers. These introduced the band’s newly-appointed singers for this academic year – Andrea CC, Tom D, Chloe H & Henrietta M – as well as featuring principal trombonist, Archie F, as a soloist. The band was on excellent form throughout, surveying songs from the likes of Adele, Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder with great style and rhythmic energy, aided by Eddie’s brilliant drumming in the heart of the band.
The whole concert made a particularly strong impression on the audience:
“What an amazing evening of music!”
“The standards were really high.”
“A truly special evening”
Congratulations to all our performers! If you missed the concert, it can now be viewed online here.