As this term of wonderfully varied music-making has begun to draw to a close, the Johnson Hall provided the backdrop to one final musical extravaganza of 2018. On Monday 3rdDecember, to send us off into the festive season, Music at Millfield, a celebration of our brilliant ensembles, showcased the immense talent and dedication of our musicians; testament to our department’s drive to make our programme accessible to all, the evening featured more pupils and ensembles than ever before! From our ever-vibrant vocal ensembles including Camerata, Millfield Chorale, Augmented 6ths, 9:10 Choir, and the premiere of Millfield’s first Barbershop Sextet, to our leading instrumental ensembles including Orchestra, String Orchestra, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble – there certainly was an item fit for every musical taste.
Opening our final concert of the term in style was Mr Jeremy Little’s ever popular Percussion Ensemble performing, beautifully, Brandon Dittgen’s Asante. Next, we heard the stunningly expressive choral singingof Camerata, led by our Director of Music, wowing the packed Johnson Hall in performances of Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus, Hubert Parry’s There is an Old Belief and Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium. Following this awe-inspiring start to the concert, it was the turn of the Brass Ensemble performing, with apt musical humour, their traditional song, Come Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl, and 9:10 Choir with their brilliantly-convincing performance of Benjamin Britten’s This Little Babe from A Ceremony of Carols, conducted by Mr Luke Gilbert and Mrs Kirsty Barry respectively. Closing the first half in style was our soulful Jazz Band, performing exciting renditions of April in Paris by Vernon Duke & Yip Harburg, Can You Feel the Love Tonight from Disney’s The Lion King and Havana by Camilla Cabello. The ensemble was expertly directed by the ever-enthusiastic Miss Claire Rose with the solos sung with style by the cool and charming Seb Berkeley (U6).
After an interval filled with mince pies and mulled wine, the second half of the concert began with two items by the wonderfully vibrant Augmented 6ths: Super Trouper by ABBA and a sparkling arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful. One vocal item led to another, and this time it was the turn of the Millfield Chorale to perform the gorgeous There Is No Rose by Philip Stopford and the traditional Sussex Carol. Splitting the vocal items were two instrumental ensembles, the String Orchestra and Millfield Orchestra, both directed by Mr Clive Hughes. The ensembles performed magnificently the Molto Agadio from Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor, Op.132 and the Andante Cantabile from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64. Concluding our musical celebration in style was the newly formed Barbershop, led by their director, Mr Jon Boyle, singing the traditional tune All My Sins Been Taken Away arranged by Robert Townsend.
Whetting the audience’s appetite for all things musical, our ensembles certainly put on a stellar performance and sent all away looking forward both to the Christmas break, and indeed a return to the musical offerings of the coming Spring term. Merry Christmas!