On June 11th, Stoneygate Senior and Junior Orchestras teamed up with Senior Choir and soloists for a memorable summer concert.
This musical feast provided lots of variety and began with a dramatic entrance into the hall from the Senior Choir, a.k.a. the Jets from West Side Story. This marked the start of an exciting West Side Story set, including such classics as America and Cool. These group songs, sung from the viewpoint of both rival gangs, the Jets and Sharks (complete with bandanas), were interspersed with a lovely duet from Caitlin M. and Siddharth B. and a moving solo from Charlotte W. To conclude this section, Senior Orchestra played a fantastically energetic I Feel Pretty and Somewhere.
Later in the concert, Senior and Junior Orchestras joined forces for an impassioned performance of In the Hall of the Mountain King.
There were other notable solos, including two stunning performances on the violin by Emma D. and Sofia D. Sofia, the only Year 2 pupil in the concert, received a rapturous response for her movement from Pupil’s Concerto Number 2 by Seitz, and Emma mesmerised us all with a movement from Concerto No. 7 by Rode. We thank them for their outstanding contribution to music at Stoneygate.
Will J. brought a real sense of drama to his rendition of Cry Me a River, and Lara P. sang the show-stopping God Help the Outcasts with incredible intensity and beauty of tone. Gracie F. and Georgina T. provided the only instrumental duet of the evening, with a fantastic account of The East Neuk of Fife.
A tradition has been born, now that it has happened twice: the Year 8 singers come together to offer a musical farewell to Stoneygate. This year, the “A cappella All-stars,” ably led by Mr Ashwin with his “doo-bee-doo” bass line, sang about one of the most important aspects of school life – friendship. Their With a Little Help From My Friends was not only excellently sung, but very touching, and showed a real sense of team-spirit amongst the pupils.
Miss Katerina, the violin teacher at school, moved us all with her account of working with elderly people and children in Nepal (just before the tragic earthquake struck), then played an emotional You’ll Never Walk Alone whilst we were shown photographs from her trip. The donations taken at the end of the concert in aid of the Nepal Earthquake Appeal fetched £292.37.
Senior Choir’s closing set of songs included classical masterpieces such as Ave Maria and the beautiful Look at the World. The choir was in excellent voice and is more than ready for the up-and-coming Belgium tour.
Both choir and orchestras brought the house down at the end of the concert with an unforgettable joint performance of Let it Be.
A huge thank you to everybody involved in helping prepare this concert, especially Mr Hudson and Mrs Thompson. Mr Ashwin was kept busy at the piano with some hugely difficult accompaniments performed with sensitivity and style.
Thank you also to the families and friends of the pupils taking part, whose huge support of music at Stoneygate is incredibly valued.
A quick addition (Mr Ashwin typing): I’m sure all of you will join me in thanking Mrs Ashwin for her unfailing commitment, musicianship and enthusiasm for music-making at Stoneygate. Without her, where would we be?!