On Thursday 22 January, Senior Choir travelled to Uppingham School for a fantastic day of singing. We joined up with Witham Hall to rehearse and perform seven pieces together. These were a mixture of newly composed pieces and those composed by Benjamin Britten. The day was followed on from the Friday Afternoons celebration that we were involved in in November 2013.
The joint items were rehearsed and directed by Mr Williams, Director of Music at Uppingham School, and Mrs Griffiths, Head of Singing at Uppingham School. They worked us hard and demanded a lot of concentration, energy, listening and musicianship from everyone. We also had a short window to rehearse our Stoneygate pieces. The biggest challenge in the 20 minutes was fitting our 58 singers onto the stage area!
Our Senior Choir was a credit to the school all day. I was delighted with how they sang, adapted to new ideas and musical interpretations and how they behaved out of rehearsal time.
Family members started arriving at about 3pm for our final concert. Stoneygate Senior Choir performed first. Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus was beautifully sung, with real dynamic contrasts and a super treble recorder solo from Charlotte W. Mr Ashwin conducted Everytime I Feel the Spirit, arranged by Scott Stroman, and he was delighted with the energy that everyone put into this. Caitlin M’s top D solo note clearly inspired everyone towards a great high F sharp finishing note!
Uppingham chose two vocal soloists to perform for us and I saw a couple of our pupils mouthing “Wow!” to each other. It is always good to see how continued practice and vocal study pays off just a few years down the line.
Witham Hall performed two lively songs very well and these songs may well feature in Stoneygate’s repertoire soon. Witham’s focus and attention on their conductor was great to see. It is very valuable for us to see other choirs of similar make-up performing.
The joint choir performances were the final part of the concert. All our hard work that we had put in since September paid off. The pieces were full of contrasts and humour (at the intended times). All the parents that I spoke to at the end were very complimentary and had clearly enjoyed the concert.
Many thanks for all the parental support and the hard work of the children. Huge thanks to Mr Ashwin for his superb accompaniment and conducting. Thanks to Mr Hudson for his help on the day and his minibus driving skills.