Dauntsey’s Jazz Night

Saturday 17 October saw the Memorial hall filled with Sixth Form pupils, parents and staff for the eagerly anticipated Dauntsey’s Jazz night.

As ever, the evening began with a superb set from Miss Jardine and the School Dance Band, kicking off with the lively ‘Hawaii Five O’. This was followed by numerous favourites such as ‘A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square’ and ‘Bernie’s Tune’, with ambitious instrumental solos from Will Sims, Anna Gilbert, Rebecca Newman and Emily Neve. ‘Watermelon Man’ provided an opportunity for Poppy Collis, Imogen Cockwell and Eliot Johnson to show off their incredibly skilled Jazz improvisation, whilst George Green, Josie Duff, Miranda Bardsley and Harry Gooch joined the dance band for fabulous performances of ‘Beyond the Sea’, ‘Everything’ and ‘Something Stupid’ respectively.

The first half also saw several more intimate performances from Katie O’Kelly, Meirian Evans, Annabelle Mastin-Lee, Isi Tucker and Angus Whitney. Accompanied by a jazz trio of Mr Irving, Mr Sims and Mr Barwood, they treated the audience to solos ranging from ‘Twenty Something’ to the more familiar ‘Summertime’ and ‘Fly me to the moon’; providing a break from the big band numbers. The first half drew to a close with ‘Happy’, a crowd pleasing favourite. The excellent solos from senior members of the Dance band successfully got the audience dancing.

Following an excellent meal from Lloyd Childs and his catering team, the second half featured the accomplished Jazz quartet ‘Blinq’. Having performed together at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club as well as individually worldwide, they treated the audience to a completely different type of vocal jazz. Their close harmony singing, incorporating features of soul music, was very, very clever. They inspired the school’s musicians with their outstanding individual performances accompanied by award winning pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock, and entertained everyone with their jokes on stage.

A huge thank you must go to Miss Jardine who worked hard to ensure that all the musical performances were outstanding. Furthermore, thanks must go to Mrs Davey for all her efforts in organising the event as well as to Mr Sims and Mr Herring who worked tirelessly to provide faultless sound and lighting throughout the evening. Lastly, thank you to Mr Whyte, Tracy Brooker and their team of 17 Club helpers who waited tables and ran the bar. Overall, it was a fantastic evening and will be thought of as one of the musical highlights of the school year by those who attended.

Meirian Evans

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