Alan Adler Memorial Concert 2017

The Alan Adler concert will forever be the musical high-point of the year, featuring the best of the school’s talent after two terms of hard work and commitment. This year’s concert took place on Tuesday 18 April, with the programme featuring a diverse range of repertoire, from the Rachmaninov’s romantic Suite for Two Pianos to the more niche choral works of Zoltán Kodály and Arthur Sullivan.

The Sennocke consort commenced the first half with Tallis’s hauntingly beautiful Te Lucis Ante Terminum, sung by heart, before moving on to some more modern repertoire, including Sure On This Shining Night, by Morten Lauridsen; the nostalgic, earthly nature of the piece was stunningly captured. Michael Heighway conducted with extreme poise.

Mervyn Tong next led a polished performance by the Chamber Orchestra of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3. Though a technically challenging piece, the dance-like momentum was effortlessly upheld, no doubt with thanks to the enthusiastic direction of Mr Potts.

A beloved classic, Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals never ceases to entertain; Mr Dyer engineered a humorous and energetic interpretation which amused the audience. The orchestra, led by Sophie Westbrooke, accompanied with flair, but the pianists stole the stage, capturing the character of the animals and interacting brilliantly with one another.

The Rachmaninov piano duet was played by soloists Rachelle Lam and Lou Warnett. This gripping performance had the audience at the edge of their seats, and was particularly poignant, being the last concert for these Upper Sixth leavers. Though the Music department reluctantly says goodbye to these incredibly talented, eager musicians, this was a magnificent end to their time here at Sevenoaks.

The concert was epically concluded with the Symphony Orchestra’s performance of the Sibelius’s Symphony no 1. Mr Dyer’s fiery direction transported the audience to another dimension: that of the icy world of Finland.

This outstanding musical display was the result of a culmination of the year’s diligence and determination, and will remain in the minds of the audience and performers for years to come.

Niky Pasolini

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