An evening of chamber music on Tuesday 27th June marked the end of this year’s musical calendar. Described by Director of Music, Marcus Pashley, as a ‘final jamboree’, the substantial and diverse programme, extending from Renaissance madrigals to the adventurous harmonies of Bruckner, showcased performers from the fourth form, lower fifth and lower sixth year groups.
The performers collaborated in every conceivable combination, ranging from a piano duet to the combined forces of Cranleigh Voices and the staff ‘Dixieland Stompers’. Some of the more unusual combinations included a double bass quartet (performing themes from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ several octaves lower than they are customarily heard) and a trio for clarinet, horn and piano by Voigt featuring Emma Grainger and Jonny Marsh, who will both appear as concerto soloists with the Merriman Concert Orchestra next term.
Particular mentions should go to Lina Mazzone and Noah Charlesworth, who each contributed to multiple ensembles, and to the two student conductors of Cranleigh Voices, Krzysztof Widera and Ben Wili. Thanks are also due to the numerous staff who kept rehearsals for these ensembles going during the busy exam period, and also to the staff who featured in a performing capacity.
This was Martin Allison’s final appearance on banjo with the ‘Dixieland Stompers’, but his retirement will do little to diminish the combined age of this ensemble, now exceeding half a millennium. The group continues to perform vigorously, although Head of Performance, Richard Saxel, did concede that ‘Down by the riverside’ was perhaps ‘a step too far in terms of stamina’. The ‘Stompers’ accompanied Cranleigh Voices for the grand finale of the evening, an arrangement of ‘When the Saints go marching in’, complete with audience participation.