The Michaelmas Term is always busy, and has a natural rhythm to it. A slow start as pupils find their feet after the long summer break, some concerts before Long Leave as the tempo increases, and then a rapid accelerando and crescendo through the large set-piece events of Remembrance, Advent and Christmas. This term has seen the addition of some wonderful extra events, each of which have celebrated different musical genres, and added substantially to the generous musical offering Cranleighans enjoy, either as performers or audience members.
October saw some wonderful concerts given by our Music Teachers, our Music Award holders, and an excellent Cranleigh Live, all with a huge variety of repertoire. During Long Leave, 17 pupils travelled to Cranleigh Abu Dhabi for a collaborative week with their international counterparts, and with the SOS Hermann-Gmeiner School from Ghana. In an extraordinary week devoted to the Performing Arts, and culminating in a complete takeover of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, where our pupils performed in unique spaces and around the priceless artefacts in the museum, Cranleighans immersed themselves in different global cultures and influences, ultimately producing some astonishingly original performances in music, dance and drama.
November featured a programme of Senior and Junior Lunchtime Concerts, Remembrance Services, with the addition of a showcase for Musical Theatre performers, and December the traditional large-scale events for Christmas; a major ensemble concert featuring over a hundred pupils on stage, plus the Advent and Christmas Carol Services in the Chapel.
Perhaps the highlight of the term, however, was the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Helen Wareham Competition, in which eight of our most advanced soloists performed short recitals to a full Speech Hall with over three hundred OC’s, Friends and Foundation supporters in the audience. This happy reunion of hundreds of supporters of Cranleigh Music was a very special evening, and the young performers each rose to the occasion, with Richard E. (piano) proving to be a worthy winner.
The week before, the British Army Band from Sandhurst had visited, working closely with our Symphonic Wind Band and the CCF to produce a fantastic marching band display (both of whom had led the previous weekend’s Remembrance Service in Cranleigh village).
Regular Evensongs led by the choir, visits out into the local community, and open mic nights in school all add to the general offering, and our young musicians remain the busiest pupils in the school. Their contribution to the cultural life of the school, the local community and indeed the international family of Cranleigh Schools is exceptional, and very much appreciated.
Please see the link below to view the video of our Christmas concert on Friday 8th December: