SPRING SERENADE – Ensembles Concert

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On Wednesday 9 March, the Hardcastle Hall was filled with the glorious sounds of an array of our instrumental ensembles. All ensembles rehearse weekly and this was a perfect opportunity to hear the results of many hours of dedicated practice. 

The Saxophone Ensemble started proceedings with a toe-tapping rendition of the theme from ‘Good Omens’ followed by the lilting waltz from Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite 2, performed by the Junior Flute Ensemble. 

Over the course of this academic year, the Music department have actively promoted student leadership and almost half of the ensembles performing were organised, rehearsed and led by students from Upper III through to the sixth form with the first of these being the Thornton String Quartet with their assured performance of ‘Fast Lane’ by Peter Martin. Another student-led trio, the Troika Ensemble, led the audience in three memorable Irish dances and this was followed by an exquisite performance by the Guitar Ensemble during which you could have heard a pin drop. 

The music of Shostakovich made a return to the programme with dazzling performances from two of our Upper V music scholars, both violinists. Next to showcase their talent was a first for The Abbey; a rock band with members from across the school community playing an instrumental version of ‘Come as you are’ by Nirvana. The communication and musicianship shared by the next violin duo in their stunning performance of Handel’s Passacaglia was just incredible, leaving many in the audience in complete awe. The Senior Flute Ensemble dazzled with their realisation of Kuhlau’s Allegro followed by the Clarinet Ensemble’s eloquent performance of Vivaldi’s concerto. The Rao String Quartet made Tchaikovsky’s beautiful melodies sing in ‘Chanson Triste’ and we were then treated to an uplifting rendition of ‘Can you feel the love tonight’ given by the Wind Ensemble. 

The final student-led ensemble, and the first to be formed; the Berlioz Ensemble gave an inspiring performance of the Largo and Allegro from Telemann’s Sonata in A minor. The finale was presented by the String Orchestra and their decisive, energetic delivery of the ‘Legend of Deadman’s Cove’. 

Huge thanks and appreciation go to all the students who participated in this wonderful event. A date for your diary is Thursday 12 May when the Summer Serenade will feature more of our wonderful ensembles as well as showcasing the Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra.  

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