Spring Concert Review

Over two hundred performers took to the stage of the Memorial Hall for the Dauntsey’s Spring concert on Thursday March 17.

The Brass Ensemble’s Fanfare for the Common Man gave a rousing start to the proceedings, leading on to the highly polished performers in the Dance Band. Soloists from all sections of the band delighted us with performances of Spain and Uptown Funk. The Lower School Choir then took to the stage with two lively performances of Sing For Joy and Popular from Wicked. We look forward to hearing more show numbers from this choir in the future, so please come along if you are enjoy singing in musicals. This is the ideal training ground for performing on stage in the future.

Junior Concert Band gave a lively performance of Joshua and The Great Escape. We loved watching the enjoyment in the ensemble and Mr Sims starring as both conductor and snare drummer!

Symphony Orchestra began their performance with Verdi’s Overture to the Force of Destiny. This is an emotionally charged piece and the orchestra rose to the occasion, delivering delicate quiet sections juxtaposed with the passion of the very loud full ensemble sections. They then gave a world premiere of Mr Irving’s Spring Frolic, a joyful piece expressing the happiness of the new year and the onset of good weather.

SSA choir, now Dauntsey’s Female Voices, performed two of the pieces from their winning performances in the Mid Somerset Festival. Both Music Down In My Soul and Pange Lingua showed the level to which the choir has risen this year and the technical expertise coupled with musicality that is required to sing music of this complexity. To ensure equality of opportunity, boys will also feature as singers in the future as we have now started a male only choir, singing music in all styles. All are very welcome. Please see me for more details.

The final item in the first half brought all our musicians together for a performance of Highland Cathedral. This very moving piece acted as a thank you for the lifetime of dedication many of our Dauntsey’s families give to military service. Algie Fooks on bagpipes with solo snare drummers began the piece and gradually all musicians joined in towards the momentous conclusion. I would also like to thank the Headmaster for bravely agreeing to perform with us on bass drum, showing true Dauntsey’s spirit and the courage to take on a new challenge. I hope many pupils will follow in his footsteps and take up the challenge of earning a new instrument in the coming months.

The second half of the concert brought the Senior Choir and the Dauntsey’s Choral Society together with the orchestra and our soloists for the evening, Alicia Carroll, Amy Lyddon, Ed Hastings and Ed Saddington in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Alicia and Ed Saddington teach singing at Dauntsey’s, so it was a wonderful opportunity for pupils to see what they can aspire to if they maintain their effort. The Requiem is one of the greatest works ever written, even if part of it was completed after Mozart’s death. The choirs and orchestras rose to the challenge of this work magnificently and gave a truly moving performance.

Thank you to all our instrumental teachers, teaching staff, support and technical staff, and parents for the dedication and continuous support which goes into making these concerts such a tremendous success.

Gareth Harris, Director of Music – g.harris@dauntseys.org