It may have been a rainy evening, but summer entertainment was in full flow in the Johnson Hall for the final Music Department concert of the academic year. ‘Music for a Summer’s Evening’ was an opportunity for ensembles and chamber groups alike to present some more light-hearted repertoire and celebrate the end of another brilliant year of music and performance. Choir began proceedings with works by Elgar and Ola Gjelo, and were followed by Percussion Ensemble with an arrangement of Grieg’s famous ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’. String Orchestra demonstrated their versatility with two pieces: a tango, ‘Oblivion’, with soloist Alex Dawkins, and the Guns N’ Roses classic ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, complete with rock band (soloist Isaac Hughes) that earned some of the loudest applause of the night. Following on, Camerata also opted for diversity with Bruckner’s enchanting motet ‘Locus iste’, the Pentatonix arrangement of ‘White Winter Hymnal’ (which included body percussion), and finally a jazz standard in ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’.
Two chamber groups then took to the stage. Firstly, leavers Alex Dawkins and Nikos Maridis blew the audience away with their impressive violin-cello duet, the ‘Passacaglia’ arranged by Johann Halvorsen based on a Handel harpsichord suite, full of virtuosic techniques and passion. The second chamber group was a chamber choir led by fellow leaver, Isabelle Weir, who performed an arrangement of the spiritual ‘Steal Away’. To finish a brilliant evening of music, the Orchestra presented three crowd-pleasers: the enchanting ‘Moon River’, music from the film ‘Gladiator’, and Elgar’s beloved ‘Nimrod’. It was a special evening, with wonderful performances and a celebratory atmosphere that provided a fitting end to the concert calendar this year.