The fantastic surroundings of Coventry Central Hall provided the backdrop for Princethorpe College’s annual Spring Concert on Friday 24 March. Over 90 talented Princethorpe pupils were joined by representatives from Crackley Hall, Crescent School and some of our Old Princethorpians to treat the 300-strong audience to a night to remember.
As a one-off special in celebration of the College’s Golden Jubilee Year, several OPs joined our musical students for this year’s Spring Concert. Many OPs were returning from University/Conservatoires where they are carrying on their passion and studying music or still playing as a hobby. Accompanying the college Choir and Orchestra were OPs Nick Bond, Charlotte Cuningham, Tilly Langford, Matt MacLellan, Rory Pickin, Maya Vohrah and Jodie Fisher (who works at Princethorpe assisting in the music department as a peripatetic music teacher and co-ordinator of Jazz Band).
The highlight of the evening for our OPs was singing the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ medley with the choir. Matt and Nick, taking their old positions as tenors in the Choir, filled the room with the Disney classics showing off their dramatic delivery and rich harmonies within the choir. For the big finale, everyone joined in for ‘Mr Blue Sky’ with Rory and Jodie on trumpet, Charlotte on clarinet, Maya on cello, Tilly on the violin and Matt standing strong in the choir.
The College Orchestra played to their usual high standard, with a varied repertoire covering Bizet’s Habanera, Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (complete with a barrage of paper bag canons from an enthusiastic audience!). The strength in depth of the new Year 7 brass section is particularly encouraging and bodes well for the future! John Legend’s All of Me proved that they are as comfortable with the pop repertoire as more traditional fare.
The other fine ensembles on show included the ever-popular Jazz Band, transporting an enthusiastic crowd to Birdland, the Year 7 Chorus and their toe-tapping Disney Medley and Junior Wind keeping things serious with a confident performance of Shostakovich’s Jazz Waltz. The Steel Pan groups brought a taste of the Caribbean to proceedings, covering pieces as diverse as The Blue Danube and Surfin’ USA.
The concert featured the World Premier of Year 9 pupil, Lauren Mason’s Spring Days (composed as a response to her Higher Level 2 Project). A phenomenal achievement, leaving the audience wowed by her wonderful piece and her faultless delivery. Lauren added, “The piece aims to reflect the season of Spring, new beginnings, starting afresh, growth and achievement. I enjoyed the challenge of learning a new music notation software, and techniques for experimenting and improvising, and as a result I believe that my music skills have greatly developed.”
Other soloists showing off their talents included new scholar Geraint Griffiths stunning the audience with his dexterity in Vivaldi’s Sonata No. 5, Year 11s Lauren Hill and Joe Rees separately captivating the audience with their singing, and outgoing Arts Prefects Ben Pinto and Tom Barnes proving why they were offered places at every music college for which they applied this year. Meanwhile, the Crescent School’s Imogen Angell (Cornet) and Crackley Hall’s Tom Lomas (Voice) gave incredibly mature performances on this most daunting of stages.
School of Rock began the build up to the finale by getting the crowd clapping along to Mercy by Muse.
Director of Music, Gil Cowlishaw writes, “I am overjoyed with the standard of music-making being shown this year. Fittingly for our Golden Jubilee celebrations we had more performers, more variety and a higher standard of playing than at any of our previous Spring Concerts. The bar was already set incredibly high, and this evening it has been raised yet again. I would like to thank all our pupils and their parents, for continuing to support Music at Princethorpe. We hope to see you all again next year, spread the word!”