This year’s Staff and Pupils’ concert on the evening of Sunday 21st January featured slightly fewer performers than previously, thanks to the ‘bug’ which had depleted numbers in the school. But it was a real tonic for the spirits, with ten performances of high-quality musicianship. Mrs Malone-Brady in her introduction pointed out that duets featured strongly this year, and that playing with someone else was a great way to learn, while having fun in the process.
However, solos started and ended the concert. The first was from Sixth Former Hector Wright, who sang the perennial South Pacific favourite “Some Enchanted Evening”, followed by singing teacher Edel Shannon’s version of “Till there was you” from The Music Man. Her confidence and expressiveness were a good example of the value of pupils learning from their teachers how to perform for an audience. Two pupils followed: Charlotte Klingmann (IV) played Danzi’s Variations on Mozart’s “La ci darem la mano” with lovely consistency of tone, and Aurora Higgins Jennings (III) accompanied herself singing ‘Wishing You Were Here” from The Phantom of the Opera with a great sense of mood.
Then the duets took over, starting with Edel Shannon and another singing teacher, Anna Brady, who delivered the popular “Flower Duet” by Delibes with aplomb. The Transition Year group had been hit by illness, but Alan Grundy on the guitar accompanied Charlotte Klingmann, Josepha Westphalen and Sakhile Khumalo (with a particularly pleasing light voice leading the line) for “Horse with No Name”. Mrs Malone-Brady then explained piano duets, and with Anna Brady gave familial performances of Schubert’s “Serenade” and a Hungarian dance by Brahms. The final duets featured Alan Grundy (by far our longest-serving music teacher) with Ann Murnaghan in a guitar/’cello combination, including a ‘world premiere’ performance of Alan’s own lively piece named after a Homer Simpson quotation: “This is not my fault. It was like that when I got here”.
The finale was provided by Anna Brady, with an hilarious performance of Adelaide’s aria from Jonathan Dove’s 2006 opera The Enchanted Pig (“I want shine! I want bling!”) – an excellent way to polish off another highly enjoyable concert.