Lunchtime Recitals in United Reformed Church
This year's Lunchtime recitals in Water Lane United Reformed Church in Bishop's Stortford have now finished. All videos, photos and reviews of this year's recitals can be viewed below. We hope to see you again next year!
Busking 5 Recital Thursday 30th January
On Thursday 30th January five Senior School pupils, Josh, Alex, Joe, Daniel and Charlie or, as they are better known collectively, “The Busking 5”, took to the stage in United Reformed Church. The Busking 5 are a group of excellent musicians who formed a band during the last academic year to raise funds for the Lower 6th summer trip to Kenya. They have modelled themselves on the American funk brass band, Lucky Chops, and have quickly grown a devoted fan base that enjoys their high-energy choreographed performances.
In addition to performing as a group, each of the pupils had an opportunity to shine as a solo player at the start of the recital. Josh P demonstrated incredible tone control in the trumpet with his performance of Red White and Blues by Leonard Bernstein. Alex S and Joe A are two exceptional saxophone players and they delighted the audience with their performances of Altango and Rise and Shine. Daniel and Charlie joined forces to perform the upbeat and complex Concert Duet for two horns by Phillip Sparke.
After their individual performances, the boys came together as a band to perform a set Busking 5 arrangements. It is probably fair to say that the lovely hall of Water Lane Church, had never experienced such an explosion of funk and dance rhythms! The Busking 5 demonstrated the mastery of their craft, learnt through numerous hours of public playing in the streets of Cambridge and Stortford, which resulted in a highly polished and professional series of performances. Both their music making and presentation shows why they have become such a popular band.
Violin & Flute Recital Thursday 23rd January
On Thursday 23rd January a group of three Upper Sixth Music Scholars launched this year's series of Spring Term lunchtime concerts in United Reformed Church. Yuki C and Inez P performed on the flute and Anthony T played the violin.
The start of the concert featured the Allegro in G by Fiocco, played with great character and conviction by Anthony. He followed with two other substantial violin works, the 3rd movement of Brahms’ Sonata in A Op. 42 and “Bolero” by Jenö Hubay.
Inez then performed “Serenade” by Riccardo Drigo on the flute which was followed by the unaccompanied duet “Sonatine Op. 96” Hans Köhler also featuring Yuki. The recital finished with an arrangement for two flutes and piano of “Sheep may Safely Graze” by J.S. Bach. All performers were very accomplished and demonstrated excellent communication and expressive skills.
They were all skilfully accompanied by David Arkell, who once again demonstrated his mastery of the piano.
Valentines Singers Concert Thursday 13th February
On Thursday 13th February, the last of the United Reformed Church lunchtime concerts before the half term break was dedicated entirely to the voice.
A wide variety of styles of love songs were performed, from traditional American folk to jazz, French art songs as well as musicals. Vibha M started the recital with the emotionally intense song Nothing Stops Another Day by Dave Stewart, followed by an elegant and moving performance of Flow, My Tears by Thomas P-M.
Hannah T and Zahra M performed two more musical numbers from the stage shows Jekyll & Hyde and In the Heights. The youngest performer in the recital, Rosie A, has already accumulated great experience as a solo singer. She sung the traditional folk song She Is Like the Swallow with her characteristic pure tone and immaculate diction.
Lola R and Izzy G sang two well-known love songs, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from Phantom of the Opera and the effervescently jazzy Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin. Finishing the recital, Billianna I gave an outstanding performance of Misty by Erroll Garner, which brought the recital to a climatic end.
Bassoon, Cello and Clarinets Thursday 27th February
On Thursday 27th February our series of recitals at Water Lane United Reformed Church continued with a combination of vocal and instrumental music.
The recital featured an eclectic combination of instrumentalists and singers presenting a fantastic selection of compositions. Hugo H opened the recital with a transcription for Clarinet of Chopin’s celebrated Nocturne in E flat major, which he played with beautiful tonal control and expression. Thomas W and Edward S both chose to play the cello and also interpreted some of the most well-known compositions for this instrument, The Swan by Saint-Saëns and the Menuet from the unaccompanied Suite in G by JS Bach. Anqi H and Edward C also performed two demanding woodwind compositions on the clarinet and bassoon respectively.
The selection of songs was equally impressive and many congratulations should go to Evie G who sang Cry Me a River, Fifi D who performed Someone to Watch Over Me and Justin L for his excellent rendition of Starts from the musical Les Misérables. Concluding the recital, Eleanor S showed her considerable talent with her flawless performance of Jimmy from the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Chamber Music Recital Thursday 5th March
On Thursday 5th March, Chamber Ensembles from both the Prep School and Senior School performed a delightful concert. Adarsha G, Harry B and Yuki C began the concert with their fantastic performance of Someone you Loved by Lewis Capaldi.
The rest of the recital was dedicated to instrumental music. The Junior Clarinet Ensemble, featuring mostly Prep School musicians, delighted us with the gracious performance of Pizzicato Polka by Johann Strauss. Fred B, Hana S, Millie K, Babafewa A and Anqi H were able to bring to life this famous polka by substituting the characteristic pizzicato of the title with elegant staccato notes in the lower register of the clarinet.
Billianna I, Charlie E and Justin M performed a special arrangement for the violin, horn and piano of Mozart’s Quintet for horn and strings. They were followed by the Senior School Clarinet Ensemble who interpreted two jazzy compositions by Alec Templeton, Bach Goes to Town and Prelude and Fugue in Swing. Jamie M, Thomas P-M, Hannah T and Hugo H masterfully negotiated the intricate polyphonic and swing lines of these two delightful pieces.
The Guitar Ensemble were in fine form and performed a very moving rendition of the famous theme from The Deer Hunter movie titled Cavatina. Anish M, Charlie B, Charlie H and Ishani M were able to produce a wonderful cohesive sound and their ensemble skills were so precise that each dynamic fluctuation within the piece sounded as if it was played by a single instrumentalist.
Finishing up the recital Fred B demonstrated once again what a fabulous clarinet player he is with his moving interpretation of the Romanza from the Clarinet Sonata by Poulenc. His tonal control and expressive use of the instrument are certainly well above that of a player of his young age.
Harp Recital Thursday 12th March
On Thursday 12th March, the lunchtime recital series at Water Lane United Reformed Church came to an end with a wonderful harp recital. Although she dedicated this concert entirely to the harp, Fifi D is also a very accomplished singer, oboe and viola player.
The recital began with a harp arrangement of the celebrated Andante from the 2nd Violin Sonata by Johann Sebastian Bach, which Fifi interpreted with a great sense of style and fluid phrasing. The structural formality of Bach was soon followed by a series of French works for the harp by Félix Godefroid, Germaine Tailleferre and Gabriel Pierné. The first of this group of works, Etude de Concert in E flat minor, is a wonderful declamatory work that challenges the harp player on their melodic control. Fifi was able to raise to the challenges of this piece and had plenty of stamina left for the next item in the programme, Perpetuum Mobile, which as its name suggests contains a constant rhythmic pattern running through the work.
To conclude the recital, Fifi presented to the audience the delightful Impromptu-Caprice by Pierné. This is a challenging and substantial work of the harp repertoire, which was tackled with great poise and control of the musical phrases.