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Summer Concert 2018

Here is a review of the Summer Concert, which was a wonderful evening of music on 4 May. See images from the concert here.

Summer Concert 2018The exam season is once again upon us, but Bryanston’s musicians remained undeterred as they entertained their audience with a wonderful programme of music on Friday night. Under the baton of our Director of Music, the Concert Band started the evening with an energetic and lively Brick Street Encounter before soothing the audience with an expressive and emotion-filled Southern Hymn. They sounded really excellent in the wonderful acoustic of the Elder Concert Hall.

We were then transported to the drawing room for Schubert’s romantic and yodeling trio for piano (Charlotte H), clarinet (Clara W) and voice (Lotte T), Shepherdess on the Rock – technically demanding in range for voice, but beautifully delivered by Lotte, and the addition of clarinet to the ensemble brought a sublime dimension to this emotional piece.

Christina Scott continues to produce highly polished and professional performances from her pupils and this evening proved no exception. Continuing in the drawing room, the Intermezzo for four violins and piano was beautiful. The Telemann Concerto for violin and strings, directed and led by Freddie was Baroque music at its very best – stunning in fact; and Kate S's solo performance in Hess’s Ladies in Lavender was evocative and as engaging as ever – she always manages to have the audience eating out of the palm of her hand.

I am always staggered to see saxophone quartets emerging year after year with new performers, who already play at least one other instrument – Dugald Clark has a way of luring wind instrumentalists to the sax quartet, and turning them into pros, almost overnight. Theirs was a dazzling performance of one of Piazolla’s classically difficult Tangos – seamless, slick and exciting.

Every single item on the programme this evening sounded professional. Duncan Emerson’s arrangement of A Change in Me gave Charlotte H the perfect orchestral backing for a spine-tingling delivery. And we will really miss Rory H's piano performances next year – this evening an effortless and fluid performance from Schumann’s Piano Concert No 54, beautifully supported by strings.

And to the final number – Emerson’s Pie Jesu was a moving and powerful climax to the evening, Sumei BS's pure soprano voice soaring angelically above the Allegri choir. This was a wide-ranging and varied programme showcasing the culmination of another highly creative and productive year in the music department. There is always that anxiety that the departing A2s will leave a huge gap when they go, and this year there is an exceptional array of talent. It will be very sad to say goodbye to them, BUT, the wealth of talent bubbling up behind them was much in evidence this evening, and it will be very exciting to see them continuing to flourish and mature next year when they are at the top of the school.

Duncan’s rather emotional speech at the end of the concert reflected his pride – in everyone involved: staff and pupils. Even harder for him this year as he begins to make his farewells – but I hope he feels proud too of everything he has done to make the Music Department what it has become today.

Sarah Beales