Matthew Burns

MUSICIANS SHINE AT THE HEADMASTER’S CONCERT

It was a cold, crisp and gloriously clear day in Sedbergh on Sunday for this autumn’s Headmaster’s Concert. With the school having gathered together that morning to remember the fallen, it was another large gathering that filled the Thornely Studio to capacity – two years to the day since the building was opened. They were treated to music of the very highest quality, with many saying afterwards that they would have happily paid £25 to have been at the concert.

James Horan was unable to play in the Scholars’ Concert before half-term, but there were no signs of nerves as he opened proceedings with a performance of Bridge’s Berceuse on the Steinway. Another Music Scholar, Alex Barker, had injured his finger at the end of last week and was unable to play violin in Sunday’s concert. One of the items that he had been due to play in was a piano trio with Marianne Yacoub (piano) and Toby Randall-Paley (cello).

Fortunately, our Head of Strings – Miss Baker – was able to step in at the last minute and complete the line-up for a performance of a trio by Mendelssohn (Op.49 No.1). This piece of music is incredibly demanding for the pianist in particular, and it is to the tremendous credit of these musicians that they produced a performance that was simply awesome. At the end of this eight minutes of breathtaking musicianship, their performance was met with passionate applause from a vocal audience.

The opening performances set the benchmark for subsequent pieces, and the audience proceeded to enjoy an hour of tremendous individual and ensemble pieces. The repertoire featured in the concert was often very demanding, but all the pupils were most measured.

Toby Randall-Paley featured in no less than four of the sixteen items, whilst Mollie Richmond and Tom Willock showed why they are members of the National Youth Choir. Marianne Yacoub brought the concert to a close, playing her own composition on the piano.

Congratulations to all pupils who helped to produce a memorable concert.

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