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The Spring concert has established itself as the centrepiece of the musical year at Trent College. This year the whole of year seven joined pupils from year eight, Schola Cantorum, parents, staff and friends to form the Trent College Choral Society.
Setting the tone for an evening of breath-taking drama, the Symphony Orchestra started the concert with the musical interpretation of hellish hilltop happenings that is Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain. College Strings brought some beautiful daylight to the programme in the form of Elgar’s Chanson de Matin. Four of our sixth form students performed solos with orchestral accompaniment: Christopher Bailey and Stephanie Berwick wove an intricate performance of the first movement of Vivaldi’s concerto in G minor for two ‘cellos; Harriet Dilks carried the audience to a place of supreme calm with the second movement of Shostakovich’s second piano concerto; and no one could fail to have been moved by William Moon singing Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. Hurricane Wind Band continued the Les Miserables theme, concluding the first half with a performance of I Dreamed a Dream.
During the interval the stage was re-set with two grand pianos and a battery of percussion. Over one hundred and fifty singers took their places alongside the pianists and eight of our student percussionists to perform Carl Orff’s intense choral masterpiece, Carmina Burana. The piece was written specifically for a choir of children’s voices alongside a choir of adult voices and three soloists. For our young singers, from year seven upwards, it was a chance to perform alongside – and draw inspiration from – some outstanding professional artists. The piece often takes performers to the extremes: the extraordinarily high solo parts are sometimes at the limits of possibility, and our students took their courage and bravura in both hands to reach as high as a top C with aplomb. As the timpani beat out and the gong, cymbals and bells rang out for the finale, our students finished creating a memorable experience which, doubtless, will stay with them for life.