Al Fresco Dining & Sparkling Music
The annual Picnic Concert took place before an appreciative audience on the evening of Thursday 28th June and what a magnificent evening it was. The weather was ideal for those dining al fresco on Middle Green, before all retired to the Memorial Hall for the performance.
Britten’s Trumpet Fanfare, played by Matthew C, Cameron T and Christopher W, immediately established the thrilling atmosphere of this concert, which was maintained by all the Prep and Senior School ensembles that followed. The Big Band were effortlessly smooth, Senior Strings played a Freddy Mercury number with great success and both choirs sounded lovely. The largest group on stage was the Concert Band, who played with exciting commitment and featured Keir A in a drum solo. The College Orchestra, with performances of Pirates of the Caribbean and Carnival of the Animals made the concert a truly special occasion. From the opening bars of Carnival, the audience knew it was going to be fun, and in fact all the movements were beautifully played with exceptional charm and wit.
All credit is due to the performers, including sparkling pianists Scott H and Ailsa M, whose parts included the bulk of the musical material; Chris W's delightful cello solo, The Swan, and Mary F’s haunting clarinet in The Cuckoo in the Wild. Humorous verses by Ogden Nash linked each movement and were entertainingly read by the Headmaster Mr Jeremy Gladwin and Sixth Former Heather C. They delivered such absurdities as "elephants are equipped with handles at both ends" with remarkable aplomb.
Mention also must be made of movements from the masterful Brahms Trio, played by Ailsa, Chris and Scott with accurate, alert and sensitive intensity. There were many solos of excellent quality in the Picnic Concert, but all the various members of the choirs and ensembles must also be acknowledged for their high standards, hard work, passion, skill and enjoyment of the music that resulted in a splendid Picnic Concert 2018.
Helen Pervez, Music Teacher