School musicians gave their annual autumn concert (held in alternate years in the Baptist Church) on October 14th in St Nicolas Church. Cranleigh’s Director of Music, Marcus Pashley, spoke of the strong links between the School and the church and added that he and the musicians were delighted to be invited again to display the talents of the School’s smaller ensembles and soloists.

The concert began with virtuoso marimba soloist Tom Hollister playing ‘Zimba Zamba’ with its final section at an even more breakneck speed than usual. The well-blended and mellifluous Wind Quintet played a light suite by Hallam and this was followed by two haunting organ solos from Elinor Morgan.

Harry McCagherty reprised his Haydn oboe concerto movement before the Chapel Brass played Dances from 1611 by Peuerl. After a sensitive Ravel solo from ’cellist Paul Gallagher the Saxophone Quartet brought a broad smile to the audience’s faces with ‘The Bare Necessities’.

Cranleigh Voices (around 20 singers) delivered a Swingle-style arrangement of Bach’s famous ‘Air’, followed by authentic Bach on the organ from Tom Hollister: the 1875 pipes still sound well, following the 1993 restoration.  A new ensemble, a String Quintet, gave us a Boccherini minuet (not the famous one) and Chloë Allison played a Vivaldi Larghetto with stylish but subtle ornamentation.  The feast of music ended with what a colleague of mine referred to as ‘the cheese course’: two sections of Rutter’s Requiem, featuring Harry again on oboe and Charlotte Bradbrook in a divine soprano solo. The many fans of Mr Rutter’s music will be able to hear Philip Scriven direct the whole piece in Chapel on Remembrance Day.

Not only were many instrumentalists also singing with Cranleigh Voices, but we heard some (Hattie Allison and Millie Crane) on two instruments and others (Chloë and Tom) on three. Cranleigh musicians these days are not just talented but multi-talented.

PJL