The beginning of the year has been filled with wonderful events from the Music Department

Scholars and Choirs Concert

The first concert of the academic year introduces our new music scholars in an evening of solo instrumental and vocal performances along with offerings from existing scholars, Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum, the School’s chamber choir consisting of our best singers. For the new scholars this can be a daunting prospect to perform after only 4 weeks at the school, but the standard of music on Wednesday 27th September in Chapel, left the audience in no doubt why these pupils have scholarship status. Congratulations to Hennie D, Jemima A and Lucy D in Year 9 and Olga B in Year 12 for their exceptional debut performances and to our more seasoned scholars Ruby S, Tamsin S, Jimmy T, Rose T, Rory R, Fergus R, Naomi H-S, Zinny B and Edie C for entertaining an appreciative audience of parents, staff and the local community with a mix of vocal and instrumental pieces. Repertoire from Schola included Nova, Nova by Iain Farrington. Commissioned by the Choir of St John’s Cambridge for Advent in November 2022, it is a new firm favourite with the choir, complete with hand claps and foot stamping. Chapel Choir sang the Nunc Dimittis from the Holt Service, composed by Tom Carr of the Music Department. The World Premiere of the complete work took place at Evensong at Hindringham Church on Sunday 1st October.

Music and Munch

A full Tig’s was treated to a wonderful lunchtime concert on Friday 29th September as the Music and Munch series got going for the new Academic Year. Particularly impressive were our new Year 9 musicians who played beautifully and looked very comfortable performing so soon after the beginning of term. A mixed programme included soulful singing from Michelle W, further voice performances from Olivia E, Alma de R and Amelia M-L and Ethan K on guitar, Sophie L on saxophone, the finale of a Haydn’s Piano Sonata in D Major from Jimmy T and Layla K playing a Hungarian Dance on her violin.

Norfolk County Youth Orchestra audition success

On Monday 2nd October, 7 Gresham’s musicians auditioned for Norfolk County Youth Orchestra. Each was asked to perform a solo piece and sight-read an excerpt from an orchestral part. The playing was of a high standard and 6 have been offered places in the orchestra – Isadora A (violin), George B (trumpet), Ilana B (violin),  Zinnia-Claire B (cello), Meg O (clarinet) and Naomi H-S (oboe). The orchestra’s first concert will be at St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich on Thursday 26th October, following their residential course at Gresham’s (23rd-26th October).

Gospel Service

This term’s Gospel Service took its lead from Black History Month and looked at the life of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko who died in police custody in 1977. This had a profound impact on many people, but most notably, Peter Gabriel, who told Biko’s story through his hauntingly powerful song of the same name. The service included a showing of a video from Playing for Change an organisation which Gresham’s Music Department supports, which aspires to uniting the world through music. Michelle W sang a solo and was joined by her brother Albert for a duet, accompanied by music staff Mr Myers and Mr Cooper.

Academic Music Trip to Barbican

On Wednesday 4th October 32 pupils studying Academic music headed to the Barbican hall in London to see a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra. Sir Antonio Pappano was making his debut with the orchestra following his 20-year tenure with the Royal Opera House. Works by Kendall, Liszt and Strauss wowed the audience of nearly 2000. This was an opportunity for the pupils to hear world class instrumental playing from one of the finest orchestras in the country and to reinforce the works they study at GCSE and A level. It also showed them the potential career pathways that lie ahead within the classical music industry.