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The Headmaster’s Concert on Friday November 7th was a wonderful opportunity to hear some of Stonyhurst’s most talented musicians. The concert opened with a stunning performance of Handel’s Let the bright Seraphim, sung by Genevieve Turner, immediately followed by Let their celestial concerts all unite from the Schola Cantorum. Another very impressive vocal performance followed, with Robert Simpson singing Schubert’s Ave Maria.
After the exuberance of Handel’s choral music, there were further Baroque pieces to enjoy, with Vivialdi’s Allegro (violin; Alice Wright) and Pachelbel’s Canon (violin; Olivia Dawson).
Romantic music was well represented, beginning with Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata (first movement), played very expressively by Georges Neill, and Debussy’s serenely beautiful Clair de lune (piano; Dominic Sutton).
There was no shortage of lyricism on this cold November evening: the lovely melodies of Summer, a clarinet piece by Paul Reade, warmed the audience, performed by Genevieve Thornton; Liam Gray gave a thoughtful performance of Satie’s First Gnossienne and Hatty Magill played Meditation from Thais (violin). Alethea, Hope and Genevieve Turner then took their places at the piano to play Gautier’s The Secret, stirring the audience out of their reverie, and Noah Williams gave a spirited classical guitar performance of Lauro’s La Negra.
There were two pieces from musicals and films: Georgia Raines sang I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables beautifully, bringing a few tears to the eye; Julian Chin movingly played John Williams’ Remembrance from Schindler’s List on the violin.
Jazz piano music brought the concert to a lively conclusion. Joseph Mann played Oscar Peterson’s Hallelujah time with great panache, and Anthony Chow and Noah Williams gave a hugely enjoyable performance of Samba Triste for two pianos by Richard Rodney Bennett.
Musicians were accompanied by Dr Morgan throughout, who also devised what was an excellent concert.
The next concert at Stonyhurst will be given by Schola Cantorum on Friday November 21st at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church. They will sing music by Handel, including the Four Coronation Anthems.