20 October 2022
With twenty-two pupils taking part from across all year groups in the Senior School and Sixth, the event was a real testament to the range of musical talent and ability that exists across the school. The pupils got to perform a solo of their choice, with a great deal of rehearsal and refinement going into producing the pieces.
In addition to four vocalists, instruments played included the piano, cello, flute, violin, trumpet and drums. A range of genres and styles abounded, from Baroque to Rock, iconic Blues and flowing Romanticism. The concert clearly demonstrated the dedication to music that our scholars possess, and their ability to push themselves to perform some technically and expressively challenging pieces.
Being a music scholar, as Head of Solo Music Ben Noithip explained, is no easy feat. “Self-discipline and dedication are required, as well as inspirational yet empathic leadership. Scholars also need ambition to succeed to a high level and the willingness to participate fully in ensemble music and coach/help others where appropriate. Furthermore, scholars are expected to raise their skills from those of a ‘player’ or ‘singer’ to those of a ‘performer’ in order to eventually become a true musician.
“Opportunities such as the concert, as well as performance workshops, competitions and various recitals, receptions, and fundraising performances within and outside of school help scholars to go about this process. There is also the opportunity to experience masterclasses given by visiting musicians.”
After the show, we caught up with Sean (Y9), who played Andante Moderato by Gabriel Fauré on the piano. He chose it because “it’s a really emotive piece and you can get really expressive with it.” Sean, who also plays the alto saxophone, bouzouki and bass, said that “one of the best things about being a music scholar is doing all of these performances and showing your new pieces and what you have been learning to an audience.
“I really like all the different opportunities that being a music scholar brings and that it involves such a wide range of different genres such as Big Band and Symphony Orchestra. I’ve loved the musical journey that the scholarship programme has put me through and I’d love to see what my future in music will be.”