Many of our music teachers also have high profile performing careers, and it was wonderful to hear them in concert on Wednesday 1st March. A large and appreciative audience enjoyed a variety of solo and chamber music items, ranging from Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets, performed magnificently by Mr Tony Adie and Mr Eddie Maxwell from the balcony, to Mr Joel Robinson’s own intimate solo jazz piano arrangement of the hymn tune I Cannot Tell.
Chamber music from the early twentieth century was particularly well-represented, with two trios by Francis Poulenc; one for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone and another for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, plus a Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano by Darius Milhaud, in which the jazz inflections and influence of Brazilian music were always apparent, alongside a notable sense of Gallic humour, vibrant rhythms, and typically mellifluous melodic lines.
Opera singer Mrs Rosanna Harris gave a spell-binding account of Ach ich fühl’s, from The Magic Flute, before joining cellist Mrs Jenny Janse in Bernstein’s wonderful Dream With Me, and Mr Cole Bendall gave an earthy account of Vaughan Williams’ The Vagabond, accompanied by piano teacher Mrs Julia Hartmann, who also performed Schumann’s Aufschwung with real panache. For many, the highlight was Mrs Janse’s flirtatious account of Cassado’s Requiebros; a Spanish cello piece performed with intimate delicacy, hot-blooded passion and a real sense of Iberian style.
The concert closed with two jazz standards featuring long-serving teacher Mr John Sandford on alto saxophone, accompanied by our newest member of staff, Mr Joel Robinson. The warm acoustic of the Chapel was well suited to John’s subtle style, and the interplay between these two highlighted the collaborative and mutually supportive environment that the Music Department is founded upon.