November always finds the Music Department and our musicians in intense preparation for two of the biggest events in the PGS Artistic Calendar; Remembrance and the Senior School Musical.
Having not been able to mark Remembrance musically last year we eagerly anticipated our first large scale concert at the cathedral for two years on Saturday 13th November. The programme was a celebration of the power of music to bring a community together in remembrance and reflection featuring all our string players in Years 7 to 13 as well as some ninety singers in our Boys’ Voices and Girls’ Voices groups, Chamber Choir and Community Choir.
We were delighted to be able to share this concert with over 300 audience members and our associate musicians, the London Mozart Players (LMP). The concert opened with Fiddler’s Hill, conducted by the composer, Jeff Moore, and performed by forty of our string players with the LMP. Based on folk-inspired material this energetic and uplifting performance was hugely well received by the audience. Peter Maxwell Davies’ hauntingly beautiful Farewell to Stromness was sensitively played by the PGS Symphonic Strings with the LMP followed by an exciting performance of Jessie Montgomery’s Strum by the LMP strings. The first half finished with Dr Shahov’s vibrant arrangements of Hampshire Folk Songs sung by the Chamber Choir with our Boys’ and Girls’ vocal groups. Mozart’s momentous Requiem was performed in the second half of the concert with a massed choir of pupils, parents, staff and Old Portmuthians along with fabulous soloists Stefanie Kemball-Read, Aurore Lacabe, Greg Tassell and James Oldfield. This was an exciting and dramatic performance of a demanding work and a fitting end to a Remembrance concert that was both celebratory and solemn.
Many congratulations to our string players and singers for such a high standard of musicianship and also to our String teaching team and Vocal department for preparing our musicians so well. Do watch a short clip of some “edited highlights” above and we hope you can join us for Little Shop of Horrors at the New Theatre Royal this November too.