The penultimate day of term, the premier performance space and the most sublime music together provided the perfect evening that was the Concerto Concert. Students from Year 9 through to Upper Sixth, on instruments ranging from flute to violin & double bass to trumpet, performing music from the Baroque to the Contemporary, showcased a roller-coaster musical history of Western Classical Music. Each student was supported by exceptional conductor Michael Seal, and accompanied wonderfully by a full professional orchestra.
Opening this event was Upper Sixth French Horn player Elenice Andrews, performing the first movement of Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No.1 in E-flat major, Op.11, soaring over the orchestra with a beautifully clear and strong sound. Next to take to the stage was Lower Sixth saxophone player Hannah Parry, who treated us to a spirited performance of Jean-Baptiste Singlée’s Concertino for Alto Saxophone, Op.78 which amazed the audience with the level of technical proficiency across the whole range of the instrument. Our third performer of the evening was Year 11 violinist Annabella Dawkins, who tugged at our heartstrings with a heartfelt performance of the second movement of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26. Moving now into the world of early 20thcentury French flute music, our next performer Lower Sixth flautist Freya Tatham who produced an effortlessly fluid performance of Chaminade’s Concertino, Op.107. Year 9 trumpeter Asher Brooks took to the stage next in a stylistic performance of the second movement of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, Hob. Vlle:1, demonstrating the exquisite lyricism of the classical trumpet. Our penultimate performer of the first half was Upper Sixth flautist Florence Lunnon, who led the entire orchestra in her performance of the final movement of Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D major, K.314, doing so with lightness of articulation and a sound so sweet she encapsulated the essence of Mozart. Rounding off the first half of our stunning concert was Year 10 cellist Hamish Barry, who, from memory, performed superbly the first movement of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Op.58, showcasing the cello’s innate ability to play dark and resonant timbres low in the register whilst produce a bright, singing quality in the higher range; a highly-accomplished performance for a pupil still so early in his musical development.
After a short interval, our concert recommenced in style with Year 11 pianist Yuhka Machino who performed, with energy and creative flair, the first movement of the Miniature Concerto for piano by Alec Rowley. Our second performer of the half was Lower Sixth flautist Tabitha Veitch, who performed four movements of Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto in G minor, Op.10, throughout each movement she portrayed an air of confidence and played with stylistic grace. Next was the turn of Year 10 double-bassist Rosa Launder, performing a pacey Allegro from Capuzzi’s Double Bass Concerto, with excellent passagework and an elegant sound. Lower Sixth clarinettist Eloise Littman then took to the stage to perform a wonderfully styled rendition of the 1stmovement from Franz Krommer’s Clarinet Concerto No.1, Op.36, blitzing throughout the extensive range of the instrument. Our penultimate performance came in the form of the first movement Villa-Lobos’ Concerto for Guitar, W501 performed admirably and from memory by Lower Sixth classical guitarist Cameron Murray, whose cadenza at the end of the movement captivated the entire audience. Finally, we returned to the world of Romantic violin works with a spellbinding performance of the second movement of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.47, performed passionately by Upper Sixth violinist Isabelle Barber, who brought many a tear to the eyes of the assembled audience.
Millfield School Music Department could not have imagined a better way to end a term and would like to congratulate all of the performers for their dedication and professionalism throughout the process. We would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to Michael Seal and the professional orchestral performers who helped bring the music to life, affording the students this exceptional, once in a lifetime opportunity.