On the evening of May 2nd2019, the Johnson Hall opened its’ doors for the first concert of the Summer term, the large scale ensemble extravaganza Music at Millfield. With so many ensembles taking part, it surely was a musical treat for all who were in attendance.
Starting off the evening’s proceedings was the energetic Junior Choir, directed by Mrs Kirsty Barry and accompanied by Mr Jon Boyle, performing a stirring medley of tunes from the ever-popular musical Wicked. Next to take the stage was the Millfield String Orchestra, conducted by Mr Clive Hughes, performing a gut-wrenching performance of the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.5. Moving on into perhaps more familiar musical territory, vocal ensemble the Augmented Sixths, directed by Miss Claire Rose treated us to a suitably upbeat performance of Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs Robinson arranged by Julia Gaulke. The penultimate ensemble to perform in the first half of our concert was the larger than ever Percussion Ensemble, directed by Mr Jeremy Little, performing an explosive El Cumbanchero by Fernandez Pray, arranged by Phil Faini. Finally, it was the turn of the ever-enthusiastic Jazz Band, conducted by Miss Claire Rose performing infectiously, arrangements of well-known classics Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Freddie Mercury and I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Norman J Whitfield, arranged by Paul Murtha and Peter Blair respectively. These performances included excellent solos performed by two of our pupils Jevon Hughes (clarinet, Y10) and Asher Brooks (trumpet, Y9).
After the interval, the audience returned to hear our relaxed Jazz Quintet perform a stunning rendition of Eva Cassidy’s Autumn Leaves arranged by the Quintet themselves. Once this was done, the Brass Ensemble directed by Mr Luke Gilbert, took to the stage to perform arrangements by Robert King of three short works by Johann Pezel: Intrada, Courante & Gigue. An ensemble concert at Millfield would not be complete without the premier vocal ensemble, Camerata, who performed three short works: they first performed beautifully, a transcendent setting of the Nunc Dimittis text by our very own Upper Sixth pupil Isabelle Barber; then an inspirational performance of I Know My Soul Hath Power to Know All Things from C. Hubert H. Parry’s Songs of Farewell; and finally, a fiery performance of Hungarian composer György Orbán’s Daemon Irrepit Callidus. To round off a superbly entertaining evening of music, the Millfield Orchestra under the baton of Mr Clive Hughes, took to the stage to perform a hair-raising performance of Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia, Op.26.
We would like to thank all of the pupils and their ensemble directors for creating such a memorable concert, without whom such an event would be impossible, and we would also like to thank the audience who created such a wonderful atmosphere in which a pupils and staff could perform.