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As we head full on towards the end of term, there has been so much to look back on this term, a term naturally interrupted by public exams and exam leave but nonetheless has been once of continuing excellence over in the Music Department and all its performers. Once again, the Carthusian musicians have come to the stage to offer such a wonderful variety of music throughout the term, almost too many to mention; here are some of the highlights.
The term began with a fascinating workshop given by early instrument specialist Mr Andrew Maginley. Andrew gave an illustrated history on string instruments from the earliest lutes and theorbos right through to the modern day guitar. He finished the afternoon with a beautiful recital in the Chapel. Later that week, the Chamber Choir visited Guildford Cathedral for the second time in two weeks to perform a thrilling joint Evensong with the Cathedral Choir. This was hot on the heels of the ever-popular Prep School Choral Day at which Charterhouse played host to six local schools who enjoyed a fun filled afternoon of singing with Mr Shepherd and Mr Sutton, guiding them through movements from Faure’s beautiful Requiem and John Rutter’s uplifting Feel The Spirit. The early part of the term was completed by the department welcoming celebrated singer and musician Mr David Hurley to adjudicate Singing Prizes. A wonderful selection of lieder and song was presented by performers throughout the school in a highly varied programme; Taki Ejima-Dalley and Rupert Peacock were worthy winners.
In the week before half term, a selection of the school ensembles treated Directors of Music and Headmasters from feeder Prep Schools to a lovely concert in the Chapel. Wind Music Society opened the programme with a movement from Haydn’s Octet in F, the Senior Brass Quintet rolled out two popular arrangements, the trio of Fourths (Eddie Chai, Adrian Chan and Lancelot Liu) offered up two of the Shotakovich Preludes for Two Violins and Piano before the close harmony group rounded off the evening. The Saxophone Quartet then delighted the guests before their evening meal. Organ Prizes was the final event of the half; Mr Richard Moore, sub-organist at Guildford Cathedral, gave an expert adjudication on the playing of all five of our current school organists. Once again, a lovely selection of repertoire was on show with Owen Chan’s quite brilliant F Major Toccata (JS Bach) chosen as the overall winner.
The term’s two Evening Recitals have once again been of stellar standard. In the first, an all-French programme was presented. Horace Choi opened the programme with Camille Saint-Saen’s Bassoon Sonata, played with expert technique and musicality. Charles Gounod’s delightful Venise for Horn and Piano was beautifully played by Jackson Wiggert before Veronika Voevodina closed the programme with Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Flute and Piano. In the second Evening Recital, our highly talented Fourths all took to the stage to perform a number of works, all centered around Strauss’ Nocturno for Horn and Piano, played so musically and serenely by Rupert Peacock.
A real highlight of the term came in May when Head of Strings Rafael Bolivar took the Chamber Orchestra to perform at Godalming Parish Church in which a complete performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was given to a captive and appreciative audience. Four soloists were used for this superb concert – Benedict Wong, Henry le Feber Robertson, Dickson Tse and Owen Chan. All of them played their respective concertos quite brilliantly and the orchestra really rose to the occasion, playing with thoughtfulness, maturity and superb levels of musicality and excitement. A wonderful evening was had by all.
This has been a jam-packed day and we’ve not even mentioned the musical performances at Carthusian Day or Artifex! A huge thank you must go to the Music Department for all their hard work but more importantly to all the pupils that have produced another super term of music making at Charterhouse.
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