The Winter Concert was a very special event, our first concert in the Hauser & Wirth Recital Hall; it was all very new for us having taken possession about 48 hours before hand. We didn’t know much about the acoustics or the heating. We were pretty confident about the lighting, and the fire alarm had only gone off once erroneously…..so far!
Well I’m happy to report that the acoustics are superb, the heating works, perhaps a little too well. The lighting improved the ambiance with subtle changes for various performances and perhaps most importantly the fire alarm didn’t go off!
The Orchestra opened the performance with Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance No. 4 which was great fun to play and showed off the excellent progress of our lower brass section, I was very impressed by them, a really solid rich sound. We then performed the 1st Movement from Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto. Vki was outstanding; to sustain concentration at such a high level is very impressive. Some lovely passages from the woodwind; I thought that Clara (bassoon) and Holly (flute) produced some particularly beautiful sounds, well-shaped phrases and excellent intonation. The Military Band were excellent, performing a selection of music from James Bond movies, this was possibly their best performance so far. The School Choir were outstanding, maybe because of the acoustics but more probably because of Mr Marshfield’s excellent training. I very much enjoyed the Wind Quintet’s performance of Agay’s Ruba; it’s a cheeky little piece with plenty of character which the quintet captured brilliantly, all credit to Miss Brearley. The Brass Ensemble were also on top form, particular mention to the trumpet section led by George and Joe. The Chapel Choir and Chamber Choir both produce a lovely sound and made the most of the acoustics, although the hall has a good reverb time there is a great sense of clarity in the sounds produced. I believe it was designed with the idea of dissipating the lower frequencies whilst letting the higher frequency’s “ring”! The Jazz Quintet and Big Band were both excellent, most impressive of all were the two vocalists, Katie and Amelia. It was Amelia’s first performance with the band, currently in the 4th Form - what is she going to sound like when she is in the 6th Form!? When Katie sung her first couple of phrases I just thought all the promise and talent we had heard when she was younger has matured into the “real deal”. Both of these girls have the potential to achieve something special.
My congratulations to all involved and my thanks to the wonderful team of musicians it is my pleasure to work with. A video of the Concert alongside an album of photos can be seen below.
David Gorodi - Director of Music