QE plays its part in pioneering children’s musical event

Two ensembles from Queen Elizabeth’s School took part in the first-ever Eisteddfod run by the Musicale, a community music teaching project in Harpenden which has been running for 25 years.

QE’s Saxophone Quartet, comprising Jonathan Wright (alto), Bhaven Murji (tenor), Adeel Haque (alto) and Punit Rawal (baritone) performed Round Midnight by Williams & Monk and Subway by Karen Street. The School’s Wind Ensemble, made up of Joseph Vinson (clarinet), Matthew Chin (oboe), Jonathan Wright (alto saxophone), Jason Yong (flute) and Akin Ogunseitan (flute) played Matyas Seiber’s Dance Suite.

Both QE groups played in the Ensemble Age Open section of the Eisteddfod, which was sponsored by the Harpenden Music Foundation. All the boys received medals and certificates for taking part.

The Eisteddfod was held over a weekend in an informal atmosphere, with helpful advice for the musicians being given by the adjudicator, Dominic Seldis. According to the organisers, Gillian and David Johnston, he was chosen “not only because he is a hugely experienced musician, but also for his untiring enthusiasm, his ability to make everyone feel at ease and for his infectious smile!” Mr Seldis, who is known for his appearances as a presenter on various BBC television music programmes, has recently moved to the Netherlands to take up his new post as Principal Bass of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.""

Other musical highlights of QE’s Spring Term included the Junior Mid Winter Concert, with performances from boys in Year 10 and below. The funding for the Junior String Orchestra and the Indian Music ensembles is made possible through our Specialist Music College status.

At the concert there were solo performances from some of the Year 7 boys awarded Music Scholarships – Tatsuma Otani, Ermos Chrysochos, Bolun Sun, Yosef Phillip-McKenzie, Joseph Huber and Daniel Chen.

The QE Concert Band enjoyed a memorable opportunity to play next to a Lancaster bomber at the RAF Museum in Hendon. The Concert Band is made up of boys who have reached at least grade V and is drawn from all year groups. It has performed many concerts at venues as far afield as Holland and Paris. Directed by QE’s Director of Music, Kieron Howe, the band also performed at St Mary’s Church in Hendon for last year’s Vaughan Williams celebrations.

In addition, 19 boys took part in a Bollywood workshop with Sam Suriakumar. The boys worked for three hours, putting together over six minutes’ worth of music. They played a version of A R Rahman’s Raga’s Dance including elements of improvisation. The boys played a mixture of both Western and Indian instruments and combined them seamlessly.