Farlington School showcased a breadth of musical talent recently, as music scholars from a variety of year groups took to the stage confidently to entertain an eager audience. Many of the girls were performing pieces for A-level assessment, which added to the excitement and expectation.
Janet Yeung set the tone for the evening with sensitive and sprightly playing in an impressive performance of the first movement of Mozart’s Sonata in F Major. This was followed by a dextrous Bach Fugue and a truly beautiful take of Grieg’s ‘Notturno’. Also from our most senior students, Olivia Middleton impressed with confident timbre in a mellifluous performance of ‘Lasciatemi Morire’ by Monteverdi, contrasting this with a dramatic rendering of ‘In His Eyes’ from ‘Jekyll and Hyde’. Her singing in both pieces showed real confidence and musicality.
There then followed a selection of GCSE solo performances: Impressively swift violin playing from Dawn Richards, a version of Quilter’s ‘June’ by Susannah Jackson which fully captured the gentle, optimistic mood and was augmented by the melancholy of Shinnie Wong’s interpretation of ‘River Flows by You’ at the piano. This section was rounded off impressively by Katie Hardy, who sang ‘Over the Rainbow’ superbly.
The Telemann Ensemble closed the first half with great poise and dynamics in a smart and well-coordinated rendering of a Rondo by Pleyel. The sensitivity and skill of this ensemble showed us exactly what can be achieved by young string groups and it was fantastic to see girls from a variety of year groups, as well as one of our parents, working together.
Katie Wycliffe’s AS recital started the second half with drama and elegance as her melodic reading of Chopin’s Prelude no 15 reminded the flood stricken amongst us that a little rain can also be a good thing. It was then time for two GCSE performances, both the work of Eleanor Harvie, whose voice dazzled in a rendering of Das Verlassene Magdlein by Wolf which showed authority; this was a performance comprised of a stark, expressionistic beauty and grandeur. Her own composition – a sequence of folk variations entitled ‘Andulko’ – made clear her skill as a writer of music. Janet Yeung gave us an intricate and complex A-level composition, a Sonata in G for flute and piano which was performed by the evening’s host Jane Thomas with Elizabeth Burtenshaw on flute. A third composer was heard in this half, Katie Wycliffe, whose carol ‘Ring out, Wild Bells!’ displayed controlled melodicism and excellent interplay between the three vocal parts.
The Wind Quintet was worth waiting for, their Divertimento by Mozart showing skilful co-ordination and musicality from all the instrumentalists as well as the confident coaching and playing of Anne Stearns on Bassoon.
We wish good luck to all of the girls with their assessments and congratulate them on a fantastic and varied evening of musical excellence. A huge thank you must go to all the staff involved for their hard work in putting together such a vibrant showcase of musical talent. Special mention here to Jane Thomas, whose superb accompaniment and teaching of Upper School music students has really raised the bar at Farlington.
Report and picture contributed by Mark Slawinski, Subject Leader Drama.