Magical concert raises roof at Wyastone

Fri, 22 Mar 2019

A massed choir of 200 children raised the roof in Monmouth School for Boys’ magical Choral and Orchestral Concert at Wyastone.

The Year 7 pupils at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools sounded fantastic as they delivered one of the greatest works of the 18th Century, Mozart’s stupendous Requiem KV626.

The uplifting evening of music-making, on Tuesday 19th March, featured two Old Monmothians – Andrew Henley (tenor) and James Gower (bass) – as professional soloists and saw the percussion ensemble play a bath tub.

Symphonic Winds, directed by Miss Sarah Fowler, got the programme under way with Moment for Morricone (Morricone arr. de Meji).

They continued their beautiful set with Highlights from Chess (Andersson, Rice and Ulvaeus), A Disney Spectacular (arr. Moss) and The Greatest Showman (Murtha).

After a short break, the percussion ensemble caused much amusement among the near sell-out audience with two thought-provoking and improvised pieces from John Cage. Watch footage from the rehearsal below.

Click here to view a video of the live performance

The young percussionists, coached by Mr Alun Hathaway, played a bath tub, a watering can, ice cubes, a food blender, a squeaky toy and a plant in Cage’s Water Walk from 1959.

And the percussionists at Monmouth School for Boys played a water gong, among other eye-catching instruments, in Cage’s Second Construction in Metal (1940). (Rehearsal footage below)

Mozart, under the baton of Monmouth School for Boys’ Director of Music, Mr David Lawson, was a sensational finale to a spell-binding concert.

Mr Henley and Mr Gower dazzled alongside fellow professional soloists Angela Kazimierczuk (soprano), a visiting music teacher at Monmouth, and Susanna Spicer (mezzo-soprano).

And the Year 7 pupils, together with Monmouth School for Boys’ Choral Society, Monmouth School for Girls’ Chamber Choir and Monmouth School for Boys’ Chapel Choir, sounded spectacular.

Few people would have seen a bath tub, a watering can and a blender used at a school concert before.

However,the talented children pulled it off with style and made it an evening to remember for many years to come.