Last Night of the Proms 2017

April 10, 2017 at 7:14 PM

The Proms series in London is one of the most famous extended celebrations of music in western culture.  Orchestras, Choirs, Bands, Opera stars and all manner of international music acts entertain tens of thousands of concert goers in as many as 70 concerts over an 8-week season.  The culmination of the season is the Last Night of the Proms, where only the staunchest proms ticket holders are afforded a place.   

Last Saturday night, hot on the heels of Les Miserables, the joint forces of the College Music programme presented its own version of the Last Night of the Proms with a concert that brimmed with festival atmosphere. 

The Concert Band, directed by Head of Music, Mr Ross Gerritsen, opened the evening in style with ‘Instant Concert’ – romping through a selection of 32 well-known tunes in less than three minutes! In a change of pace, this was followed by ‘Shenandoah,’ a beautiful arrangement that featured the superb French horn and flute sections.  The guest soloist was percussionist, Rachel Thomas who dazzled the audience with her work on marimba, xylophone, timpani, glockenspiel and timpani with cameos on bass drum and tam tam.  Her encore on snare drum was world class. Observing a performer of this calibre was a fantastic experience for our musicians. 

Much of the Music Department's focus this year has been on the upcoming USA Tour to New Orleans, San Francisco and Los Angeles in April.  The Tour Band, directed by Mr Paul Norman, presented four selections from their tour programme featuring not only instrumentalists but also a five person jazz vocal line up for ‘Souled Out’.  Their set was a crowd favourite and bodes well for their tour. 

The Chamber Orchestra and the Premier Choir, Kentoris, directed by Mr Lachlan Craig, delivered a masterful display with a finely tuned collaboration of ‘Alway Something Sings,’ Vivaldi's ‘Cum Sancto Spiritu’ and American composer, Eric Whitavre's ‘Glow,’ highlighted the diversity of our Music programme, while the Chamber Orchestra's lone performance of ‘Fantasia on Greensleeves’ showed the quality of our top string players. 

The finale of the concert was delivered by the Saint Kentigern Symphony Orchestra and the Mass Choir, who, resplendent in Union Jack bowler hats, were a magnificent sight.  Following a spirited performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's ‘Dance of the Tumbler’ they played Andrew Baldwin's ‘I lift my Eyes to the Mountains’ which was written for the College in 2013.  The traditional ‘Jerusalem’ was performed by the combined forces of the Symphony and Massed Choir, joined by the audience, who then finished the evening with’ Land of Hope and Glory’ from ‘Pomp and Circumstance No 1.’  A fabulous end to an equally fabulous evening! 

We thank the Music Department for the exceptional music that they bring to the College community and for the fantastic musical experiences they create for our students. We wish the Tour Group all the best as they make their final preparations for their trip away!


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