Music in the Month of May

May bloomed with a number of musical events in the senior school as the end of the first half of the summer term approaches.

The month began with a toe-tapping pop and jazz concert performed by musicians and vocalists from wind band, jazz band, musical theatre club, singing and signing, selected soloists and student bands. The concert contained a gloriously diverse programme, with numbers ranging from Duke Ellington and Nina Simone to Oasis, Taylor Swift, the Cranberries and Keane.

A vocal masterclass was run by maestro Ed Hughes, Teacher of Mathematics as well as accomplished opera singer, which proved extremely popular. The class, open to selected soloists from Years 9 and 10 in front of an audience of parents and fellow pupils, included individual performances followed by workshops for each performer, as well as interactive exercises for all to join. Pieces ranged from British folk song arrangements to an excerpt from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

Mr Hughes said: “The vocal masterclass was a lovely afternoon. It was very nice to see the students support each other and an excellent chance to help them develop vocally and to help with getting over any anxiety they may have around performance.”

The Trinity Laban Conservatoire series saw the last of the year’s recitals, with the Meissa Trio performing a stunning violin, cello and piano rendition of Bedrich Smetana’s Piano Trio in G Minor Op.15, a profound piece dedicated to the memory of the composer’s daughter.

To round off the half term, the Chamber Singers took their places at Evensong in the splendour of Rochester Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Rochester and one of the oldest diocese in England, founded by King Aethelberht over 1400 years ago.

Director of Music Tim Newberry said: “It has been a busy few weeks in the run-up to half term and we have enjoyed a number of excellent and varied events. The diverse repertoire in the Jazz and Pop concert showed how much talent our pupils have in a range of different instruments, while the vocal masterclass was an absolute smash hit. We were thrilled to have the phenomenal Meissa Trio for the final Trinity Laban recital of the year and it was a lovely way to celebrate our connection to the conservatoire. To round off the half-term, our Chamber Singers did Colfe’s proud as they took part in the sublime Evensong service at Rochester Cathedral.”

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