Musical term demonstrates depth and breadth

The strength in depth of music at Queen Elizabeth’s School was amply demonstrated by the House Instrumental Competition this term. A total of 123 performances were adjudicated for the intermediate and senior classes.

To qualify for the senior classes, boys had either to have passed Grade 8 or to have succeeded in an entry audition. The competition adjudicator was James Williams MBE, who conducted the Barnet Schools’ Wind Orchestra for 14 years and has been involved in brass bands since 1944.

Director of Music Kieron Howe said: “There was a very high standard throughout: Jim Williams described our intermediate woodwind and brass as ‘outstanding’, which is quite an accolade. We emerged with some very worthy winners.”

In the senior competition, Year 9 violinist Sergei Batichtchev took first place for his performance of Pablo Sarasate’s Malaqueña, with Year 11 boy Luka Sugita and Upper Sixth-Former Benjamin Yadin jointly taking second. Luka also won the Piano Cup. The overall winning house for the whole competition was Broughton.

Individual highlights this term included a first performance by Year 12 violinist Eigo Takeda in the English Schools’ Orchestra performance at the Cadogan Hall in central London – an experience he described as "fabulous".

There was a first performance by the newly formed Chamber Choir at the Carol Service. The breadth of the repertoire performed at QE was reflected in the Christmas Concert programme, which ranged from The Simpsons theme tune to Fascinatin’ Rhythm by Gershwin and – to mark the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death – the First Hymn Prelude by Vaughan Williams.

QE’s work as a specialist Music College continues to thrive. The programme included a visit to Christchurch Primary School by 15 boys and three members of staff to give instrumental demonstrations to Years 2-5 as part of this partner school’s Arts Week.