A Round-Up of Music

Catch up with the latest news from the Music Department including the results from the highly memorable Piano Prizes Competition 

Since Exeat, there’s been a flurry of activity over in the Music Department, both in the Chapel and the various Concert venues. What’s more, there’s a huge amount of activity going on over the coming weeks as we head towards Advent, Christmas and eventually the end of term festivities. Pupils have been keeping themselves very busy and we must thank them all, at this juncture, for their commitment, their responsibility and above all their musicianship in maintaining the excellent standards of Music at Charterhouse.

Choral Evensong has been a staple service in the Chapel Choir weekly commitments and the choir celebrated a special service for All Souls shortly after returning from Exeat. The names of those who have departed this life were fondly remembered, the choir offering beautifully serene music for the service: some wonderfully sung plainsong alongside Stanford’s Justorum animae. The choir’s next outing, just a week later, was during the most moving service of Remembrance on 11 November; their rendition of Douglas Guest’s For the Fallen was highly atmospheric and thought-provoking. Just a day later, and the newly formed Junior Chapel Choir were on show in the Under School Remembrance Service, performing Faure’s In Paradisum (from the Requiem) alongside string and chamber organ accompaniment. It has been most wonderful to see two choirs running successfully and signing becoming a stronger tradition throughout the school. Tim Colin was masterful and poised in his performance of The Last Post on both occasions.

Piano Prizes 2021 was an absolute triumph this year. We were thrilled to welcome Annabel Thwaite to adjudicate, a highly sought-after chamber musician and soloist. Held on just the one evening in Hall, we welcomed performers from Year 9 right up to Year 13. The standard was extraordinarily high and, competition aside, this was a most enjoyable evening as a Piano Recital in itself! Every pupil played very well indeed and there was a wonderfully diverse selection of repertoire performed. Jack Wong’s jazzy and upbeat performance of Chris Norton’s Jingo was a real highlight, right through to Taki Ejima-Dalley’s thought-provoking performance of Berg’s Sonata op.1. But it was Ava-Louisa Christiansen’s performance of Scriabin’s Impromptu in B Minor that won the first class of the evening before Justin Wang’s astonishingly brilliant 32 Variations in C Minor, Beethoven, came out as overall winner. This was an evening to remember.

Through the past couple of weeks, Lunchtime Recitals have continued to be most popular; Rosie-May Kennedy has performed Kreisler’s Introduction and Allegro, Jack Guest-Gornall has given us a lovely performance of Shenandoah and When She Loved Me and we’ve heard the first outing of the new look Senior Quartet with the last movement of a Mozart Quartet. Further down the line, Wind Ensembles, both Junior and Senior, will take to the stage as will the Brass Quintet. On top of this, Jazz Band will be giving an informal concert towards the end of term before the joy of Carol Services and Candlelit Carols accompany the Christmas festivities. Oh, and don’t forget Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, right around the corner now!