Music itself takes centre-stage at first major concert

The School’s first large-scale concert of the academic year was a celebration of Music itself – so it was especially fitting that it took place on the day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians.

Entitled An Ode to Music, the concert in the Shearly Hall, featured a programme that spanned the centuries, from the Baroque era to works by a number of living composers.

""Director of Music Cheryl Horne said: “Pupils, family and staff joined together to celebrate the glorious history of Music alongside the amazing talent of our musicians at Queen Elizabeth's.”

The Junior Concert Band got a busy programme under way with a medley of Queen songs and a performance of the marches of John Williams, the film composer known especially for his Star Wars soundtrack.

""The Junior Strings tackled excerpts from Beethoven’s Symphony no. 6 ‘Pastoral’ and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, while the Junior Indian Ensemble played Carnatic (classical Indian) pieces by Thyagarajah.

The Flute Ensemble then performed Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D, before the Chamber Choir concluded the first half with one of the best-known songs of the rock and pop era, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

""The Jazz Band produced a swinging start to the second half with two jazz classics, Mas Que Nada and Take the A Train, followed by I Want You Back, made famous by The Jackson 5.

Next the Celli played a selection from Jupiter, from Holst’s The Planets, before the School’s newest ensemble, The B Minors, took to the stage for the first time. This junior barbershop group performed Lennon & McCartney’s Yesterday as well as Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, who died just a few weeks ago.

""The penultimate appearance came from the Saxophone Ensemble, performing Nigel Wood’s Silver Chalice, before The Symphony Orchestra and School Choir joined forces for the final item. They took on pieces from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. “This is probably most recognisable as the music from X Factor,” said Miss Horne. “With over 200 students on stage, it was certainly a rousing finale to send everyone on their way!”