27 March 2019
Students have given a variety of compelling music performances in recent weeks, from the annual William Sevenoke Memorial Concert to Sevenoaks Swings.
Aesthesia and Anaesthesia
Tuesday 12 March marked the beginning of a number of events showcasing some of the finest contemporary piano music. Those passing through The Space foyer will have been treated to Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Airports’ throughout the day, which served as a taster for the evening concert, which was built around the states of aesthesia and anaesthesia.
The concert included a range of piano music from well-known contemporary composers, including Phillip Glass, Ludovico Einaudi and John Cage, as well as some lesser-known composers such as Nils Frahm and Florian Christl. Students altered their pieces by adding synthesisers, voices, soundtracks and other instruments to create the ethereal effect. The concert culminated in Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, which uses an ancient Confucian text sung by dozens of performers to create the entirely vocal work.
You can read more about the Aesthesia and Anaesthesia performances here.
The annual Sevenoaks Swings on Wednesday 13 March saw the return of the Big Band and Jazz Band under the direction of Mr Beston and Mr Bassett, with jazz and pop classics like ‘Pennsylvania 6500’, ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’. The Big Band was also joined by Gigi Gurun singing ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ and ‘Skyfall’, and the Jazz Band was treated to Zenzy Castellano Pucci singing ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’. Further highlights included the a cappella group’s performance of ‘America’ and ‘Lullabye’ as well as Voices’ set of pop pieces alongside the ukulele orchestra.
Some more unusual contributions this year included the Saxophone Mega Band performing ‘Tequila’, the Flute Choir performing ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and over a dozen clarinets performing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’!
All in all, a very successful jazz concert, culminating in a performance of ‘Walking on Sunshine’.
St John Passion
The Choral Society and Parents Choir, under the direction of Michael Heighway, were joined by professional tenor soloist Ruairi Bowen and a chamber orchestra for a dramatic performance of Bach’s St John Passion.
The concert was in two halves and featured soloists from across the school, including Peter Westbrooke, Jacob Robinson, Ben Hancox-Lachman, Diego del Ser, Vita de Munck, Grace Hall, Meg Ishimitsu, Tilly Robson, Ferdinand Beier, Darcy Lambert, Tom Williams and Andrei Golovanov.
It was exciting for the students to perform such a demanding work and the concert was a triumph.
William Sevenoke Memorial Concert
Known previously as the Alan Adler Memorial Concert, the William Sevenoke Memorial concert is always a huge success and this year certainly maintained this expectation. This year featured two of the larger ensembles – the Wind Band and Symphony Orchestra – as well as smaller ensembles, including Sevenoaks Strings, the Sennocke Consort and the Senior Girls’ Ensemble.
The concert began with Sevenoaks Strings performing Alan Bullard’s ‘Recipes for descant recorder and string orchestra’ under the direction of Michael Heighway. The Senior Girls’ Ensemble then performed two challenging six-part and four-part a cappella works for upper voices, conducted by Tegan Eldridge, before being joined by Meg Ishimitsu and Louisa Child on violin and Michael Heighway on piano for a ravishing rendition of Elgar’s ‘The Snow’. Following this, the audience was treated to Khachaturian’s Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano before the Sennocke Consort closed the first half with a selection from Tippett’s Negro Spirituals from A Child of Our Time and Stanford’s The Bluebird, with soloist Aria Baker.
After the interval, it was time for the largest school ensembles to perform. The second half kicked off with the Wind Band, conducted by Julia Kiggell, performing selections from Lord of the Rings – the Two Towers and the popular main theme from The Incredibles. The concert closed with the Symphony Orchestra performing a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, under the direction of Christopher Dyer.
Every aspect of this concert was a huge triumph and congratulations must go to all students and staff involved!