Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Showcase of the year proves inspirational

Showcase of the year proves inspirational

Summer Concert | Gillotts School, Henley | Thursday, July 20

GILLOTTS School held their summer concert on the evening of Thursday, July 20 — a showcase of the year’s musical achievements.

The number of performers, together with the 100-strong audience, which included MP John Howell and Mayor Kellie Hinton, says everything about the dynamic leadership of music teachers Frances David (the head of music) and Geoff Bull.

It was clear that the school is working hard at raising the profile of music, and headteacher Catharine Darnton hinted at exciting plans for next year.

The evening was maturely compèred by newly appointed head girls Kiri Cheesman and Helena Porter.

The school choir, Gillotts Voices, under the directorship of Mrs David, gave moving renditions of Lennon and McCartney’s Can’t Buy Me Love and Munt’s Lonely Road, with good articulation and confident part-singing.

It was good to see a strong contingent of younger boys — perhaps some older boys can be persuaded to join next year to further strengthen the sound with a bass line.

A nice touch was the inclusion of a group of year sixes from feeder schools who had spent the last six weeks attending rehearsals at Gillotts. The Gillotts Chamber Group, an ensemble of mainly wind and brass instruments, projected a wonderful sense of fun and enthusiasm in their dynamic performance of You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story, arranged by and under the directorship of Mr Bull.

There were some impressive vocal solos too, notably Maddie Bourne, singing the Toy Story favourite When She Loved Me and Ella Davis singing jazz classic Fly Me to the Moon.

On the instrumental side, there were, among other things, some interesting student compositions, an accomplished performance on clarinet by Kitty Powell of Andante Moderato by Crusell, and one of the outstanding performances of the evening, of Ed Sheeran’s Tenerife Sea by Abhi Thapa, whose impressive vocals and guitar, along with skilled use of pedal loops, received rapturous applause.

All the evening’s performers joined forces for the finale — a rousing rendition of Bastille’s Pompeii, providing a fitting end to an inspirational evening.

Anna Del Nevo

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