And what a perfect summer’s evening it was: the sun setting serenely over the school buildings, and casting a benign and beautiful light on those keen to entertain and be entertained in turn.
With the picnic rugs out and Prosecco popping, this was definitely more Glyndebourne than Glastonbury, although the music did offer nods to both venues in its range (and quality!). We started with The Seckford Sinfonia (and here may I say what a fabulous job the sound engineering team did in capturing and relaying the music to the audience – no easy thing to give depth and balance to strings, woodwind, brass and timpani across a Chapel lawn). Youth would have its day, and the youngest of our musicians played with maturity and poise to set the evening off perfectly. The Senior Brass, Percussion, and Senior Flute ensembles picked up the baton with alacrity and showed just what a musical education at Woodbridge can achieve – not only brilliant musicianship, but also camaraderie, teamwork, and fun – such fun! Smiles all round! The Concert Band, Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra then took us to half way with a tremendous mixture of the epic cinematographic scores, a little pop, a spirited tango and at the end tingle-down-your-spine and spring-to-attention-to-salute Pomp and Circumstance from Elgar. O glorious times!
Mr Turner then offered us a change in mood as we went more contemporary (though jazz and swing with Just Jazz and the Swing Band predates Zimmer even if not the Pirates and Gladiators). Foot-tappers aplenty here, and solos too interwoven with fine ensemble play. Don’t Worry about your Baggy Trousers, they’re Cool… Fabulous. And then for a further change of mood we went (and here I show my age and innocence…) ‘pop’: Ella, The Northern Lights, and James taking on a series of immensely impressive covers. What an evening… it just needed its grand finale to send us off into the night… and here were FourbyFour to offer just that: Lewis, Jonathan, Nathan, Brendan and Anna delivered an outstanding final set of playful, gleeful, and matchless swing and jazz.
The applause flew, like the accompanying bats, into the night and in and out of the Chapel lawn trees. What a great evening, and what a lovely occasion for so many of our wonderful Year 13 musicians to take a final bow, alongside a lovely bunch of OWs I should add. We cannot thank them enough for all the pleasure they have given and for all the commitment they have shown: to their music, to the department, to their peers and to the school. And of course we must thank their teachers as well! So, to Mr Turner and all in the music department – congratulation! Encore! Bravo!