Music Lights up Summer Term
Music is a crucial and core part of life at Stamford Endowed Schools. With over 500 individual music lessons a week, 45 music clubs a week and around 80 performance opportunities a year, there is never a dull, or quiet, moment.
Choral work at SES continues to grow. In the Choral Concert this year the final work was a massed choir performance of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. With over 270 singers on stage from all three schools, including a staff choir, the roof really was raised by this superb concert. The concert also saw some excellent solo performances. Of note was Rory Russell’s performance of ‘Total Eclispe’ by Handel, a dramatic performance showing excellent vocal control and colour.
Vox continues to be popular with well over 40 boys attending each week. They made an excellent contribution to the Carol services with their rendition of ‘Gaudete’ and later in the year went on to perform with success at the Peterborough Music Competition.
Chapel has continued to be the backbone of worship at the schools. With 20 boys currently singing in the choir we have been blessed with very strong tenor and bass sections. This has enabled the choir to tackle more challenging works for these lines. A highlight was the performance of Beatus Vir by Monteverdi as part of his 450th anniversary this year. This substantial and iconic work for virtuosic solo voices in 6 parts was excellently executed by the choir.
Tour to Barcelona
This year Chapel Choir, Cantare at SHS and Chamber Orchestra toured to Barcelona. The party of 55 performed in iconic buildings including Barcelona Cathedral, Girona Cathedral and the hill top Monastery at Monserrat. Large audiences were very appreciative of the performances including a standing room only performance at Monserrat. As well as these concerts the tour party managed to visit Park Guel, Sagrada Famillia, Las Ramblas, the Dali museum at Figures, the Barcelona Football stadium and the beach.
Each week around 100 students rehearse in our Senior School Orchestras. This year the Symphony Orchestra set itself a formidable task of performing two movements from The Planets by Gustav Holst. The work is a huge monument of 20th Orchestral repertoire. The Orchestra has worked incredibly hard to master Jupiter and Mars from the suite and at the Orchestra Concert in May, 70 players gave extraordinary performances of both works.
Sinfonietta also prepared their own version of Mars, performed at the Summer Concert. Again the younger players impressed with their command of this challenging repertoire.
Music here offers great opportunities to the students with both ensemble and solo performances. Of note this year were the concerto movements played by James Leetch (piano), Matthew Green (Violin) and Lizzie Winfrey (Cello). The maturity required to pull off substantial works at this young age is rare indeed.
The Carol Services as always are a highlight of the year. With nearly 170 performers these are atmospheric and rousing services that are oversubscribed each year.
As well as approximately 80 performance opportunities this year students have taken many music exams. This year we have had 220 exams with excellent pass rates and a good number achieving distinctions. Also this year we have had two students achieving ARSM diplomas in piano, Aoife Judge and Christina Ho who was awarded a merit.