Small Music Ensemble

May 30, 2018 at 9:39 AM

With thanks to Head of Middle College Music, Mr. Oliver Gilmour

With this year’s Chamber Music New Zealand competition a week away, almost 50 College musicians performed a variety of jazz and classical numbers at the Small Ensemble Showcase on Monday night for the Saint Kentigern community.

The event created a perfect opportunity for the groups to become comfortable performing live prior to the competition.

The Chamber Music Programme, coordinated by Middle College Head of Music, Mr. Oliver Gilmour, has a record number of groups involved this year. ‘It’s fantastic to see so many young musicians working hard within their chamber groups to reach a high level of performance,’ Mr. Gilmour said. ‘In Chamber Music, there is nowhere to hide and students must learn to be confident in the presentation of their music to the audience. They learn valuable ensemble awareness skills that serve them well as members of larger ensembles, together with musicality and technical skills which enhance their development as soloists.’

The Saint Kentigern Percussion Ensemble opened the evening with its rendition of the March from ‘Peter and the Wolf’ by Prokofiev. Following on, the Piano Accordion Trio performed ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ by Portuguese singer/songwriter Luísa Sobral and the tango, ‘Por Una Cabeza,’ by Carlos Gardel. A further twelve groups carried on the night, serenading the audience with numbers from around the world: the Horn Quartet performed the traditional Maori lullaby, ‘Hine e Hine’; Mr Lachlan Craig’s Chamber Group, The Escazy Trio, delivered a show-stopping rendition of Eric Whitacre’s ‘Five Hebrew Love Songs’ through voice, piano, violin and tambourine; the Sax ensemble performed both Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Petite Sweet’ by Karen Street.

Although our youngest students are unable to perform in the Chamber Music Competition, they can still participate in the Small Music Ensemble. So with an aim to perform in a future competition, a combined Year 8 and Year 10 group, the 9 Chirpy Trio performed ‘Valse Russe’ from ‘Miniatures’ by Frank Bridge. 

The night concluded with a performance by The Castel Trio comprising Izzy Bayley, Catherine Chang and Esther Oh. These students attend the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music, operated in conjunction with The University of Auckland School of Music. The Academy is a unique programme in New Zealand that offers young musicians the chance to challenge themselves and develop their skills in a supportive environment, surrounded by people with outstanding musical talent. It is fantastic to see these students receiving specialist coaching through the Academy. 

From a flute to a bassoon and vocals to saxophones, we saw a wide range of spectacular talent. Senior College Principal, Mrs Suzanne Winthrop, closed the event saying how impressed she was by the night’s array of talented musicians.

Good luck to all the students who will perform in the Chamber Music Competition at Epsom Girls Grammar School June 6. They would love your support! 

Chamber Music Competition held Wednesday 6th June at Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Epsom Girls Grammar School
First Session: 3:00pm-4:45pm
Second Session: 5:30pm-7:00pm


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