Musicians from Christ’s Hospital’s famous band were invited to perform at a major charity fundraising event at Arundel Castle.
‘Celebrating Sussex Childhood’ was held at the castle last Friday, March 17.
The event was held in aid of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, young people’s charity Winston’s Wish and also supporting Home-Start Arun.
It was held in the Baron’s Hall and hosted by Mark Spofforth OBE, High Sheriff of West Sussex, in the presence of Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and Henry, Earl of Arundel.
Arundel Castle added to the Christ’s Hospital’s band’s impressive record of engagements. Last summer, 40 members of the band performed for the Patron’s Lunch in The Mall. The full band of 120 musicians take part each year in the Lord Mayor’s Show, it also accompanies the School on its annual parade through the City of London in September and performs regularly for the MCC at Lord’s where it entertains the crowd.
The 40 young musicians performed for the 250 guests in support of three important Sussex children’s charities.
Mollie Sellors, 13, who plays the Oboe, said: “Arundel Castle dominates the town of Arundel itself. As we approached I was astounded by the size of it. To get to the grand hall where we were playing, we had to walk up many staircases and through grand hallways with paintings on either side. I was concerned that if I were to get lost I would not be found!
“Our musical programme consisted of a wide range of pieces, from both the classical and modern eras, including a Jackson five medley. My personal favourite piece was Farandole by Bizet which was arranged for concert band. I like this piece because it is a bold piece with a fast pace. The audience seemed to especially enjoy the 1960s Beach Boys medley; people started to sing along and dance.”
Alex Stewart, first trumpet player and sixth former at Christ’s Hospital, said: “The band concert at Arundel was the first opportunity I’d ever had to go inside a medieval castle. As we approached the castle, the exterior was simply breath-taking. The experience really sank in when we were lead through the complex network of corridors and stairs which, along with our Tudor uniform, felt like a trip back in time. We eagerly awaited the beginning of the concert while the guests piled in and the atmosphere began to grow. Eventually not an empty seat could be seen and the band took their seats on stage. We opened with the chilling toccata in D minor, its dramatic opening immediately gripped the room and set the scene for what was to be a wonderful evening.
“As the evening came to an end, the focus of the concert shifted to the amazing charitable causes Winston’s Wish, a childhood bereavement programme, and Chestnut Tree House, a children’s hospice. We are all extremely thankful to the charities involved and Arundel castle for kindly hosting the event and especially thank them for adding yet another fantastic memory for all of us at Christ’s Hospital that were involved.”
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