The Perse School

Perse music showcase an overwhelming success

24 Mar 2017

Perse musicians entertained a packed audience at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge this week.

The Symphony Orchestra were on good form under the assured baton of Oliver Cope (Upper Sixth) in Verdi’s dramatic La Forza del Destino overture, before both soloists and orchestra were put through their paces in movements from Mendelssohn’s G minor Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, played with stunning virtuosity by Natalie Martin and Patrick Bevan (both Upper Sixth) respectively.

The second half featured an impressive performance of a difficult and sustained piece by Richard Strauss by the Trumpet Ensemble, while Tchaikovsky made a welcome return in his String Serenade, played with caprice by the Perse Soloists. Wind Band 1 took the audience on a tour of the world, starting and ending in London, in Nigel Hess’ bombastic Global Variations.

In other music news, we congratulate Natalie Martin for being awarded the Oakwood Trophy and a gold medal for outstanding performance for her Mendelssohn concerto movement at the Woodley Music and Arts Festival. Meanwhile, Simon Skovgaard (Year 10) was awarded the Most Promising Performer trophy for his performance of Chopin’s first ballade at the Cambridge Competitive Music Festival.

Adelaide Harliono-Evans (Year 7) has received the good news that she has been invited by the Argentinian government working with the National Symphony Orchestra and Teatro Colon Orchestra to perform in a concert in Iguazu, Argentina in late May.

Here are some other notable highlights from the music department during the Lent Term…

Tuesday’s Symphonic Showcase Concert came hot on the heels of our 230-pupil-strong Large Ensemble Concert, a Choral Concert at OLEM and the always-popular Charity Cabaret.

We also held the Perse’s first ever Piano Week in January, with an exciting programme of concerts and workshops.

We welcomed the internationally renowned Swingle Singers to the Perse for a masterclass and concert, as well as the Doric String quartet, pianist Graham Fitch and singer Iain Leddingham.

Six of our finest chamber groups made it through to the national Pro Corda chamber music competition final, held at Brighton College. A total of 19 made it through to the semi-finals.

The Perse Musician of the Year Final now has its grand finalists (with the exception of those taking part in the ‘Wild-Card’ round) confirmed: Anna Ponek (Lower Sixth), Daniel Arbide (Lower Sixth), Zak Cebon (Year 11), Claire Wood (Upper Sixth), Phoebe Farman (Year 11) and Lucy Howard (Lower Sixth).

Outside of school, Patrick Bevan (Upper Sixth) and Lucy Howard (Lower Sixth) took part in the first set of concerts give by the National Youth Orchestra this year in Nottingham, Birmingham and London.

Kilian Meissner (Year 10), Robert Almqvist (Year 10), Hannah Sirringhaus (Year 11) and Emma Harris (Year 7) joined the Britten Sinfonia on stage at the Barbican in London in February as part of their Academy scheme, in celebration of the American composer John Adams’ 70th birthday this year.


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