Spring Concert – Channing at St Joseph’s, March 17th 2022

The Channing Spring concert took place on the 17th of March in St Josephs, and was filled with a vast array of musical talent, from the Symphony Orchestra’s thrilling performance of ‘Polovtsian Dances’ from ‘Prince Igor’ by Alexander Borodin to Miss Zanardo’s ‘Cornish Summers’ mash-up including ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’ and ‘Skyfall’ by Adele. The large amount of preparation for this concert, especially with the logistics of getting together all the choirs and orchestra certainly paid off, and it would not have been possible without the brilliant Mr Boxall, Miss Zanardo, Miss Bacon, Miss Daniels, Mrs Dodds, Mrs Marley and Mr Brown.

Haydn Creation
The evening started off with Haydn’s ‘The Creation’, featuring Chamber choir, Cantemus Chorus and Conabor choir, accompanied by the brilliant Symphony Orchestra. It was dramatically started off by the ‘Representation of Chaos’ played by the Symphony Orchestra, and then followed by the recit: ‘In the beginning’, sung by Yasmin Byng, and then ‘The Spirit of God’ sung by the Chamber Choir. Anna Milsom then gorgeously sung the virtuosic aria ‘Now vanish Before the Holy Beams’, which was followed by both Chamber Choir and Cantemus Chorus uplifting the audience with: ‘A New Created World.’ Amelia Mariott then gripped the audience with the recit ‘And God Made the Firmament’ and the Chamber choir then continued portraying the uplifting mood, singing: ‘The Marv’llous Work’ with the solo part sung by Yasmin Byng. The recit ‘Let the Earth Bring Forth Grass’ and the aria ‘With Verdure Clad the Fields Appear’ was then beautifully sung by Talia Nabarro, who demonstrated extremely difficult yet beautiful ornamentation. The exciting finale to this work: ‘The Heavens are Telling’ was sung by all the choirs and orchestra, notably including percussion adding to the drama of this piece. The semi chorus for this piece was sung by Flora Froment, Anna Milsom, Asya Pendlebury, Maya Khiani and Eloise Neil, and the gripping and fast paced mood ended the piece on an uplifting note.

The Lord is My Shepherd
Rutter’s ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ fro his Requiem, was performed by the Cantemus Chorus and Conabor Choir, and beautiful accompaniment was played by the Symphony Orchestra, notably featuring the gorgeous oboe melody, played by Anna Whelan.

Simple Symphony
Senior Strings was next to delight us with their performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Simple Symphony’. The first movement displayed excellent communication between the sections with the melody being shared seamlessly between them. This communication was equally noticeable in the second movement with it being entirely pizzicato. The ensemble of the group created a precise and exciting section of music with the Cellos and Double Bass on the bass line to tie it all together. The slower final movement contrasted the upbeat nature of the first two and featured beautiful harmonies that brought the piece to a melodic end.

Cornish Summers
‘Cornish Summers’ was composed by Miss Zanardo, and was a joy to perform. It featured Adele’s ‘Someone Like You,’ and ‘Skyfall’, ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, as well as The Beatles’s ‘Real Love’, sung by Cantemus Chorus, Conabor choir, and featuring the Brunner Show Choir singing a solo part. The exciting orchestration played by the Symphony Orchestra also made this piece so compelling to listen to, particularly the use of distinctive and powerful brass and woodwind melodies.

Polovtsian Dances
To round off the evening, the Symphony Orchestra performed Alexander Borodin’s ‘Polovtsian Dances’ from Prince Igor. The lyrical introduction and opening dance notably featured beautiful solos from Anna Whelan on the oboe as well as Kezia Colton on the Soprano Saxophone and Darcey Hastings on the Cor Anglais only a week after swapping it out from her usual oboe! The next, faster paced dance provided a challenge for the whole orchestra with demanding runs and quick changing tempos but these were handled with precise musicality and ultimately ended with a bang. Fittingly, the following dance also started with a bang with Mr Brown on the timpani to introduce the exciting composition. The percussion and brass provided a grandiose and rhythmic melody whilst the strings and wind performed the overlapping runs with impressive clarity. The fourth dance featured conversational solos between Anna Whelan and Kezia Colton on the oboe and soprano saxophone respectively, who made light work of the musically challenging section. Throughout the dance, Emily Brown’s piccolo playing shone through, adding flare to the piece. The following reprises were performed with high energy and the attention to detail within the musicality of the piece was certainly notable. As the dances neared the end, there was an impressive display of control as the strings and brass faced off with a difficult section of syncopation before the wind rejoined to bring together a truly show stopping end to the concert.

This concert was the Year 13s last one at St Joseph’s, and although we are extremely sad to go, we are so happy that it ended on such a high note! If you were not able to come, then listen here:

Yasmin B, Charlotte W