Music at Sevenoaks

This term’s Music at Sevenoaks concert was a showcase of some of the school’s younger musicians and larger ensembles. Audience members were not left disappointed, as each group performed some very difficult music seemingly effortlessly.

The evening began with the Foundation Orchestra performing an arrangement of the Can-Can and other famous orchestral pieces which was both impressive and enjoyable. It was obvious that the students were really enjoying playing so many famous pieces even at this early stage in their orchestral careers.

Following this, the Wind Band played three very contrasting pieces. Beginning with a charming arrangement of two English folk songs, they then premiered a new piece – Mist-Born – which was in a style unlike what most members were familiar with playing. The group rose to the challenge fantastically before finishing their set with a performance of the well-known theme from the film The Magnificent Seven, which provided a high-octane conclusion.

The string quartet that played next was the smallest group on the programme by quite some way, but what they lacked in numbers they more than made up for with musical talent and virtuosity. Their performances of Haydn and Borodin were a joy to hear.

The Flute Choir and the Sevenoaks Strings both treated us to performances of music by living composers. Zoe Booth’s Café Tango for flutes was exciting and showed off the capabilities of this type of ensemble, while Carl Jenkins’ Palladio provided an entirely different feel of timelessness and energy. The two Lower Sixth conductors for the Sevenoaks Strings, Sehee Lim and Sophie Westbrooke, performed extremely well and directed an extremely polished performance.

Finally, the concert finished with four songs sung by the Lower School Singers. Three African Folk songs – ‘Tue Tue’, ‘Bonse Aba’ and ‘Siyahamba’ – were enjoyed by all as a refreshing change of pace from the Western music that had been heard so far. Their final song, ‘Budapest’, was sung beautifully and provided a wonderful finish to the evening’s music-making.

Rob Laidlow

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