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Music Review

Music Events

Our Director of Music, Mr Steven Henderson provides a music review for Michaelmas Term:

The Michaelmas term saw the largest number of concerts yet. There was a full programme of early-evening concerts in the Recital Room. The first, back in September, was given by the professional brass quintet, Essentially Brass, who were joined by our own percussion teacher, Mrs Shelton, as guest soloist. They gave the lead for our own students to follow, and since then there have been six early-evening concerts featuring our own students as soloists and in small ensembles. The woodwind, vocal, piano, brass, percussion and strings concerts were all great successes, with more experienced musicians inspiring the next generation by sharing the same platform together. This term Trent College even shared an evening with alumni musicians as Old Tridents’ bands returned to perform for one highly popular night in the Prince Obolensky Building.

Schola Cantorum had a very busy schedule as usual. As well as the vocal concert, St. Cecilia concerts and the Advent service, they were kept busy preparing inspiring music for Sunday evening chapel services and the six end-of-term carol services.

For the Music Department as a whole, though, the last two weeks of November were the busiest, with no fewer than four major events.

This year’s St Cecilia Concert involved 135 students performing in 11 different groups. The concert had a cinema theme and The Symphony Orchestra started the evening with The Pink Panther, followed by a dramatic medley of James Bond themes with solos from Pia Rose Scattergood, Francis Sinfield and Stephanie Berwick. Schola Cantorum sang two items including the dwarfs’ song from last year’s Hobbit movie. There were polished performances from String Orchestra, College Strings, Syncopated Stix and the Jazz Band. Cyclone Wind Band’s performance of Summer Nights from Grease was a showstopper, as was a performance on Will Evans’ collection of handmade instruments, which were created as part of his EPQ project. The Hurricane Wind Band gave us a moving arrangement of When the Stars Begin to Fall and the stirring (and appropriately titled) march, Men of Trent. Our ‘Man Choir’ was popular as ever, singing Mozart’s mysterious O Isis und Osiris from The Magic Flute. The Swing Band finished the evening with a popular selection including solos from Hattie Manson and Adam Feeney. Swing Band’s performance of Skyfall linked right back to the James Bond themes at beginning of the concert.

The very next day – St Cecilia’s Day itself – was the birthday of one of this country’s most successful composers, Benjamin Britten, and this year marked the 100th anniversary of his birth. All of our year 7 students had already proved their ability by putting on a concert in school on Field Day. This time they joined the Nottingham Youth Orchestra, the Music for Everyone organisation and several other Nottingham schools in the Albert Hall for a concert of Benjamin Britten’s music. Our year 7s formed the largest group in the concert – as many singers as all of the other schools put together! They sang a collection of twelve songs called Friday Afternoons. This was part of an international event with tens of thousands of children singing these songs on the same day throughout the world. Trent’s year 7s were, as always, excellently turned out, well-behaved and made a very strong contribution.

The next week, the Symphony Orchestra, Flute Ensemble, Man Choir and Schola Cantorum were joined by the choir from The Elms to provide music for our whole-school Advent service in the beautiful setting of Derby Cathedral. Far from being over-awed by such a magnificent venue, Trent’s musicians seemed at home and the Dean of the cathedral commented on how impressed he was by the performances.

The fourth major occasion that fortnight was of course the unforgettable inter-house singing competition: our House Shout. All senior school students in every house took part, proving that music really is for all of us.


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