As always at this time of year, the end of the Autumn term has been very busy across Millfield as a whole, but particularly so for the Music Department. In the last few weeks, there has been a lot going on and our students should be very proud of what they have done in this time.
Camerata have performed in two services at Wells Cathedral, the second of which they were joined by the Choir. Both groups sang very well, covering new repertoire quickly in the rehearsals leading up to the services, and led the way with the carols and hymns with great confidence. The Choral Service, the first of the two occasions, was just for the Year 9 students and celebrated some classic Christian figures and music, as Camerata performed the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis in C by C. V. Stanford and John Tavener’s anthem The Lamb. At the Carol Service, Camerata sang Angel’s Carol by John Rutter, who was also the choice for Choir, singing his Christmas Lullaby. Choir also performed P. Stopford’s Lully, Lulla, Lullay. Considering the challenging acoustic of Wells Cathedral, both ensembles sang admirably and received many compliments from staff and students alike afterwards.
The Year 9s got a chance to shine at the termly Co-Curricular Evening, which showcases what has been going on in the co-curricular sessions throughout the term. Mr. Cook’s group performed as a samba ensemble to start the evening off with a bang, and many staff and students commented on how music was the highlight of both the evening and the term.
Our top-performing students took to the stage for the Evening Recital, which saw a varied programme that covered classical favourites, musical theatre, and more unusual items for recitals. All the students involved rose to the challenge and created a suitably brilliant end to the student recital series for this term.
Ensemble playing was the focus of ‘Music at Millfield’, the final concert of term. After a mammoth day of final rehearsals and preparation, the concert arrived and was very well received. All the students performed brilliantly and showed off their hard work from the whole term. The first half saw String Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Choir, and Symphony Orchestra take to the stage: while Choir’s repertoire was more Christmas-themed, both orchestras played cornerstones of the classical repertoire by Corelli and Beethoven. Brass Ensemble took a lighter route with two pieces inspired by dances. Percussion Ensemble, Camerata, Jazz Band and the Augmented 6ths were the stars of the second half after an interval full of mince pies and mulled wine. This second half really showed the breadth of musical styles that students can perform, from classic jazz and carols to contemporary choral music and recent chart-topping popular hits. A highly successful evening, the students and staff should be very proud of their work over the last time to achieve such great performances
Besides concerts, rehearsals for ‘High School Music’ have been continuing, as February inches ever closer. Our students are also working hard on repertoire for concerts next term, including the Concerto Concert and the Choral Concert at Wells Cathedral.
Our Upper 6th students are also in the middle of university and conservatoire applications. One of our Music Scholars, Nikos, has been offered both a place at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music, and a scholarship to the Birmingham Conservatoire. Huge congratulations to Nikos on his extraordinarily hard work paying off. We are also happy to share that two of our Music Scholars have also been invited to interview at the University of Oxford, while numerous others have had university offers flooding in. Results from ABRSM and Trinity exams have also come in and our students did very well indeed – congratulations to all who took exams, with a special mention to Peter who gained a distinction for his grade 7 timpani exam.
Thankyou to everyone who has made this term a great success. We are already looking forward to next term, with so many exciting concerts and opportunities for our students. From all of us at Music at Millfield, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!