Millfield musicians had the opportunity to perform with their teachers and tutors for the annual Staff and Scholars’ recital in November. During the course of the evening, the programme was filled with a wide variety of ensembles and genres, and above all to showcase the many talents across the department.
To open the concert, a string group involving Lower Sixth Eloise, Year 11 Will, Ms Claire Rose on violins and Miss Zoe Sones on viola performed a Country Fiddle Compilation by Burton Isaac, an exciting and playful opening number, displaying the total enjoyment of music making between students and staff. Following this saw a vocal ensemble consisting of Lower Sixth students Esme, Maddie, Jo, Angelina and Eloise joined by music teaching staff Miss Sarah Graves, Ms Marianne Vivash and Mrs Kirsty Barry performing the theme from Home Fires. This was an impressive performance, having the ensemble really enhancing the many layers to this piece as well as creating a wonderful blended sound.
Turning to the Baroque era of music, Year 11 Felix and oboe teacher Mrs Jane Finch performed Vivaldi’s second movement from Concerto in D minor for 2 oboes, played with such delicacy to compliment the long-sustained lines throughout. Keeping within this genre of music followed Upper Sixth Woon Ngee and her double bass tutor Mrs Claire Whitson performing Telemann’s Suave and Allegro from Sonata in A minor. This was an astounding interpretation of the piece as well as conveying the real versatility the double bass has, they both delivered a virtuosic and enjoyable performance.
Following this, graduate musician in residence Miss Zoe Sones performed a contemporary piano piece entitled Halo by Dobrinka Tabakova; captured evocatively the ethereal character of this deeply emotive piece, in addition to including extended techniques using the harmonics of the piano that echo the Halo. Next, we saw a lower brass ensemble involving Lower Sixth Cameron on Euphonium, Mr Luke Gilbert, Year 10 students Teddy on Trombone and Archie on Tuba, performing Scarborough Fair. A brilliant arrangement of this traditional tune, conveying the many sounds and colours of the lower brass ensemble. This is followed by Year 10 Cecilia and Mrs Jane Finch performing the renowned Queen of Sheba by Handel, played with energy and musicianship, they both delivered a high-quality performance.
Vocal duet Maddie from Lower Sixth and vocal tutor Miss Eloise Routledge followed with a whimsical performance of Schubert’s Die Schwestern, providing a highly characteristic, enthusiastic and engaging act. Further displaying the real diversity of instrumentation and genres included in this recital, next up saw a percussion trio; Year 9 students Izzy on vibraphone, Alex on the cajon and percussion tutor Mr Jeremy Little on the marimba playing Space Dancer by Arthur Lipner; an entertaining, uplifting yet highly technical performance that displayed a real sense of ensemble playing and the ability to have connectivity amongst one another through music.
The final three acts included another solo piano from Mr Jon Boyle, performing the beautiful Reflets dans l’eau by Claude Debussy, an extremely virtuosic display of the imagery of the ‘reflections in the water’ Debussy intended within this piece, Jon’s performance really brought this work to life. The penultimate piece saw a piano quartet consisting of Upper Sixth students Annabella on violin, Emily on cello, Mr Clive Hughes on viola, and Mr Matthew Cook on piano performing Brahms’ Andante from Piano Quartet in C minor. This was a high-quality performance, showing sophisticated music making amongst the ensemble with their musical chemistry on stage which radiated throughout the piece.
To close this eventful evening of music, Lower Sixth Al and Upper Sixth Connor on guitar, Mr Jerry Crozier Cole on bass guitar and Year 9 Alex on drums performed Apache by the Shadows; a well put together, compelling yet relaxed performance, a great way to close the concert.