On the evening of Monday March 4th, The Johnson Hall played host to a wonderful array of chamber ensembles in ‘An Evening of Chamber Music’. It was truly inspiring to see so many of our pupils collaborating in this annual event through such a diverse musical programme, delivered to such an extremely high standard.
Kicking things off in rag-time style was the Harp Ensemble consisting of Honey Priestnall, Juliet Grogan and Jo Maddock, performing an energetic rendition of Winners Rag by Scott Joplin. For the ensembles’ second piece, Honey made way for Sofia Hinteregger to join the ensemble in Deborah Henson-Conant’s flavoursome Baroque Flamenco. The next item was Borodin’s Trio in G minor performed by one of Millfield School’s premier string ensembles, the string trio consisting of Isabelle Barber, Annabella Dawkins (violins) and Hamish Barry (cello). This is an ensemble who, amongst others have reached the semi-finals of ‘Pro Corda’ – one of the leading national level chamber music competitions. Rounding off the first half of our concert in style was another of our ensembles who have made it through to the semi-finals of ‘Pro Corda’: Violin Quartet (William Broomhead, Annabella Dawkins, Robert Mulchrone and Eloise Parton). The ensemble performed a technically assured and stylistically appropriate rendition of the Concerto in G major by Telemann.
The second half of the concert delivered yet more outstanding performances, including a Wind Trio Trifolium (mvt II & III) by Keith Amos sensitively performed by three of our Year 10s; Emily Bradshaw (clarinet), Maddie Calvesbert-Sharp (flute) and Jo Maddock (oboe). Concluding a very well received evening of chamber music was the third and final Millfield ensemble who made it to the semi-finals of ‘Pro Corda’, our Violin (Isabelle Barber), Clarinet (Eloise Littman) & Piano (Yuhka Machino) Trio. The trio peformed Dmitri Shostakovich’s Five Pieces with technical grace and stylistic flair, whilst maintaining a wonderful ensemble dynamic and working together in a near-professional manner.
Each ensemble showcased a variety of integral performance skills including listening to one another and working as a team in order to provide the audience with the intimate experience of chamber music. The standard of which was so high that it comes as no surprise that several of our chamber ensembles have reached the semi-final, and perhaps beyond, of the national chamber music competition ‘Pro Corda’. We look forward to even more ensembles performing to an even higher standard next year.