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Autumn Concert

Friday, 10 November 2017

Mr Emerson recently enjoyed the Autumn concert performance by the boys and gave a glowing review of the night. 

Yet another full hall as lots of proud parents, pupils and staff turned out to enjoy an excellent evening of autumn music. It was cold and wet outside but the atmosphere and music inside were warm and welcoming. The concert got off to a stirring start with a Scottish number, Hamish MacCunn’s The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, stirringly executed by the players and expertly conducted by Mr Harrison. One can almost see Scotland when the piece is played this well, its grandeur and landscapes that inspired so many great composers. MacCunn’s piece and the First Orchestra’s interpretation of it reminded me of Bruch’s Scottish Symphony played some years ago on the same stage. This time however it was lovely to see so many younger players with the Firsts and may I commend pupil Edwin for his superb percussion on the timpani. Actually, for me, one of the highlights of the concert was the noticeable high quality of percussion talent in CLS at the moment.

Next, Miss Jones conducted a very assured performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers from The Snow Maiden (nice to have a nod to the anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution on the very day one hundred days later). The clarinet soared and congratulations to pupil Dan for his orchestra’s very fine performance. Junior Strings led the third piece, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Strings in D; a very assured performance from the very first note of the first Allegro. How reassuring to know that CLS has so many good strings players coming through the ranks and we can look forward to many more years of great concerts with these musicians as their playing continues to mature; they certainly are already setting a high standard.

Nice to welcome Mr McHardy on the harpsichord to accompany the piece; this was his first concert in the CLS hall and judging by his playing here’s to many more! For me, one of the highlights of the evening came in the Grieg Holberg Suite which was played flawlessly and with great sensitivity. The Sarabande was executed with feeling and graceful elegance and the Rigaudon was fun and fast. Pupil Alex’s cello playing made my spine tingle and Hieu seems to get better and better; it is reassuring to know we are in safe hands for years to come with him and Miss Jones, Head of Academic Music, who seems always to get the best from these players.

The evening finished with our impressive Swing Band and Jazz Orchestra. A huge thanks and congratulations to Mr Crockatt also for his first outing on the CLS stage and it is quite astonishing what has been accomplished by these two groups in just one half-term. A real sense of fun pervaded the pieces with immaculate timing and a clear sense of enjoyment amongst the performers. I must again highlight the percussion; one pupil's drumming was really quite astonishing and for a Junior Schoolboy to execute such a brilliant performance left me flabbergasted. Another boy gave a highly impressive trumpet solo (having earlier played his cello so well) and sixth former Kiran, yet again, played with conviction and skill. The evening finished with well-deserved applause and one parent who turned to me and asked herself why she bothers to buy tickets for the Barbican or the South Bank when she can come to CLS and hear this quality of music for free!

I concurred and reminded her that there was, of course, a collection on the door for the school charity, Amref. Massive congratulations to all involved in such an accomplished evening and to the music department who enable and encourage such talent. There is a lunchtime concert on Thursday 16th November at 1pm in St Lawrence Jewry church (next to the Guildhall) where some of the pieces will be repeated and a pupil will play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. See you there!

It was cold and wet outside but the atmosphere and music inside were warm and welcoming.
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