How true, how true, how TRUE! A festival – ‘a celebration’ – and so it was, embracing the enthusiasm, skill, passion and talents of well over a hundred of our pupils from eight to eighteen, not forgetting the brilliant staff who guided them to such heights (the staff embraced a different range of ages… but Mr Penny’s not letting on).
Cantabile – stunningly melodious, and beautifully measured: poignant pieces, witty arrangements, and crystal clear from the start.
The Chamber Choir – the pinnacle, and at the top of its game, mixing the secular and the religious with graceful aplomb and mesmerising musicianship (did you pick out all the nursery rhymes before they all began-agin?).
The Barbershop – not just a case of half a dozen snappy dressers having fun, but a wonderfully nuanced and balanced rendering of two classic songs given new heart and soul.
‘Down by the Riverside’ (how about that for a title written for Woodbridge…) and a wonderfully clever coming together of youth and experience as Cantabile followed where the Chamber Choir led. Brilliant.
The buzz at the interval was electric – here was an audience in the thrall of something very special. And the second half measured up in spades. The Abbey Chapel Choir delighted with its take on a very international repertoire, mixing brave solo voice with unison and harmony to joyous effect; the Chamber Choir returned to take glorious advantage of a chance to sing Mozart’s Ave Verum with a professional chamber orchestra; and then it was all (senior) hands to the pump for the Choral Society’s powerful performance of Schubert’s Mass in G featuring three quite outstanding soloists: Florence Gidney, David Spray and Owen Butcher.
A magical evening of song. Our sincere and enormous thanks to our wonderfully generous benefactor who made this very special event possible, and our hearty congratulations to all the performers, and of course to Ms Weston and her inspirational team of singing teachers, to Mrs Williams, to Mr Milton, to the memory of Mr Stafford, and to Mr Penny who rightly took the final bow at this, his final Woodbridge School Snape concert.