Brighton Festival Fringe Concert 2019
This is the 16th year that Roedean has held a large-scale concert as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe.
The concerts are outstanding every year, so we have a reputation to maintain, but this year’s concert in the School’s beautiful Chapel did not disappoint!
The performance started with the incredibly well-known and powerful Prelude from Charpentier’s Te Deum, and this was followed by three choral movements from the same work. The massed choir which brings together the Roedean girls with singers from the local community sang with great confidence and skill.
Each year, this concert is a showcase for the School’s most talented musicians, who have the rare opportunity to play a concerto movement with a full orchestra. The first soloist was Kamali (Yr11) who played the Romance from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20 in D Minor. Kamali played beautifully, and her dexterity in this section was exceptional. The Hummel Theme and Variations for Oboe were played next by Martha (Yr13). The set of variations on this theme become increasingly difficult – Martha presented the different tonal colours wonderfully, and the finale was spectacular. The next player was Scarlett (Yr11), who performed the Allegro Molto from Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto in C Major. The piece was challenging, both for the soloist and the orchestra, and it was a delight to hear how well they coped with it.
The Kabalevsky was followed by another twentieth century piece, by Gershwin – Someone to Watch Over Me is an iconic song which has been performed by such stellar singers as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, and Ava (Yr11) completely mastered the jazzy feel needed to pull it off. The final solo concerto movement, the fiendishly difficult Allegro Molto Appassionato from Mendelssohn’s E Minor Violin Concerto, was performed brilliantly by Freya (Yr13). She showed excellent control when presenting the beautiful melody, and in the cadenza, and the grand finale of the movement was full of panache. It was an excellent performance.
The main choral piece was the hugely famous Vivaldi Gloria in D Major. Although the piece is normally performed by a mixed choir, it may have originally been written for female voices, and this explains the fact that all the solo parts are for soprano or alto. Congratulations to all of the soloists and choir members – the Gloria is so well-known that there is nowhere to hide, and the performance was excellent.
At the end, as has become a bit of a tradition, the Year 13 leaving musicians bade farewell to Roedean Music symbolically by singing to the Director of Music – their mash-up of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Climb Every Mountain was incredibly appropriate for a teacher who has always been able to draw the very highest standards out of them and been such an influential figure in their musical careers.
Director of Music Veronica Fewkes said: “We gave our musicians some huge musical challenges with pieces such as the Mendelssohn and Kabalevsky violin concertos as well as full scale choral works by Vivaldi and Charpentier. Many audience members were staggered by the professional level of the performance standard throughout the concert and we are very proud of all the girls' who took part in the event.”
It was an outstanding concert – well done!