Millfield’s first evening concert in the Johnson Hall brought us The Open Musicians’ Platform to kick start the academic year. This concert is made for our intermediate students, between grades four to seven where we saw a great range of repertoire from various genres and instrumentation take stage, as well as some students performing for the first time in front of a socially distanced audience, as well as viewers at home via the live stream on Millfield’s Senior School YouTube Channel. After months of not being able to perform in a concert hall, in front of a live audience, it was great to see music making happening again for our students here at Millfield.
To open the evening, Year 10 Cecilia Barry performed the tranquil Arabesque No.1 by French late-romantic composer Claude Debussy, executed with real delicacy to compliment the serene melodies. Following this, Year 10 Keamen Jones gave us an energetic and courageous performance of Dussek’s Allegro. Another pianist followed with Lower Sixth Maddie Calvesbert-Sharp performing A Walk at Strumble Head by Gareth Balch, resonating the journey behind the piece through her calm and musical interpretation.
Following on from the pianists, we were taken to the genre of musical theatre by Lower Sixth vocalist Caspian Fowler sing This Nearly Was Mine from ‘South Pacific’ by Rodgers and Hammerstein, performing with such richness in tone and great musicality. To add some variety to the evening, we had Lower Sixth Cameron Nicholson on the Euphonium playing Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, filling the concert hall with his powerful yet beautiful tone, highlighting the versatility of the instrument. We were then taken back to the Baroque period with Year 10 Sarah Long’s notable performance of Handel’s Gigue suite No. 8 in F minor, followed by Year 10 Charlie Swift singing Ain’t Misbeahvin’ by Waller and Brooks, a wonderful and charming performance.
Back to the piano, Year 11 Soloman Williams performed J.S Bach’s Sarabande and Gigue, showing real virtuosity and accuracy to compliment the infamous Bach sound. Lower Sixth vocalist Imogen Scott-Carter followed with an elegant performance of Silver by Armstrong Gibbs. Contrasting this came Year 11 David O’Loughlin with Beethoven’s Prestissimo from Sonata No. 5 in C minor, a bold performance to capture the valiant nature of the piece. Leading on to our final vocal performance of the night was Year 10 Beatrice Paterson performing the emotive Requiem from ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, delivering a highly expressive, passionate and virtuosic performance that moved the audience. Following on with the impassioned sound world, Upper Sixth Woon Ngee Ng performed Prelude in Eb Minor by 20th century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, providing an outstanding, haunting and resilient sound to foreshadow the intense yet expressive nature behind Shostakovich’s composition.
To conclude the evening, we had three fantastic performances, first from Year 9 Alex Jones on the drums playing Garden Wall by Dave Weckl. You could see the absolute enjoyment Alex was having whilst playing this highly energetic, jazzy and simply fun piece which radiated the entire concert hall. Following this we had Lower Sixth saxophonist Olivia Mahony performing the fantastic East Coast Mainline by James Rae, an extremely terrific piece, performed with superb musicianship and technicality to emphasise the beautiful tones of the saxophone. To bring the evening to a close, Year 9 Izzy Knott performed the impressive Etude in Ab major by Clair Omar Musser on the marimba. This was a highly skilled performance, leaving the audience in awe with her impeccable musical talent.