In praise of musical endeavour

On May 6 Harvey Hall was filled with St Swithun’s musicians for the annual Founders’ Day concert. The concert opened with performances by this year’s line-up of The Morrows, a group which will sadly lose all U6 members this year but will rise again with a new cohort of musicians in September. The current members showed their talent and experience with accomplished performances ranging from songs by Kylie to The Killers. 

The concert continued with the jazz band under the direction of Mr Clive Watkiss. Emma Bhatti L6 provided captivating vocals for their performance of The Lady is a Tramp. Many smaller groups performed: a string quartet, flute quartet, sax quintet, piano duet, senior clarinets and horn ensemble, each group demonstrating talent on their particular instruments. Kumuthu Amaradasa L6, winner of this year’s St Swithun’s Music Competition, performed a movement from Horovitz’s Euphonium Concerto with the symphony orchestra with great sensitivity. The symphony orchestra rounded off the first half with a rousing performance of The William Tell Overture by Rossini. Other performances in the second half included the string orchestra with Pirates of the Caribbean and the brass ensemble with an entertaining arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody. The chamber choir sang a beautiful arrangement of Sailing by Debussy and the concert ended with concert band’s performance of A Tribute to Amy Winehouse. The concert was very well-attended and warmly received by the audience.

During the evening on Sunday May 8, Swithun Choir led the school in a ‘Songs of Praise’ style service at Winchester Cathedral. The hymns and anthems were chosen by the choir and members of the school community, including the teaching staff, the head girl team, health centre staff and GAP students. Familiar favourites such as Praise my Soul and Shine, Jesus Shine echoed enthusiastically around the cathedral and the choir sang a moving rendition of the Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré.

A selection of the audio pieces can be heard here:

Symphony Orchestra - The Overture to William Tell 

Symphony Orchestra - The Aragonaise from Carmen Suite no.1 by Bizet

Concert Band - A Tribute to Amy Winehouse

Jazz Band - The Lady is a Tramp