On Friday the 7th February, 2020, at just after 7.30pm our junior music award holders presented an evening concert in the MMS to a three-quarter full audience showcasing the fruits of their work to date this year. A focus of this concert was to show the diversity of music making happening in the department across all instrumental/vocal disciplines and genres. The concert opened with Felix Long’s spritely performance of ‘Alma del cor’, deftly displaying its ternary structure before Jacqui Birrell (piano) performed the ever popular ‘new simplicity’ of Einaudi’s ‘Love is a Mystery’. Next, the audience heard Lucy Andrew’s interpretation of the intriguing German composer/bassoonist Christian Julius Weissenborn’s ‘Study no. 15’ before being transported into the celestial realms of John Rutter’s vocal duet arrangement of ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’. A well articulated Mozart ‘Adagio’ (Rosie Grayson – oboe) was followed a lively Tarantella (Simon Chen – cello) before the first half closed in a completely unexpected way – the calm waltz theme from ‘Up’ (Jemima Batchelor – piano).
Following interval refreshments of wine, crisps and soft drinks in the MMS foyer the second half heavily featured rock as both Elliot Evans and Digby North showed off their rhythmic drumming abilities accompanied by a booming sound system and Bashy Slater (piano) performed Muse’s ‘Space Dementia’ with its raging arpeggiated shapes that, to this listener at least, didn’t sound too dissimilar to the more tempestuous of Liszt’s oeuvres. In contrast to this Herb Davis (oboe) performed the plaintive melody on top of the rotating scalar passages of Ronald Binge’s ‘The Watermill’ and Tyler Brown gave a clear and sincere rendition of Arthur Hamilton’s ‘Cry me a river’. An enjoyable concert with promise of more to come from our young musicians.