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22 March 2016

Concert at St John’s Smith Square

Canford’s musicians enjoyed a high profile outing to London on Sunday 20th March.  Members of the Chapel Choir, Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Orchestra took to the stage in St John’s Smith Square to give the major concert of the academic year. This was an opportunity for London based members of the wider Canford Community to hear the latest in Canford’s music, and many current parents and OCs attended. The pupils were able to perform to a diverse, enthusiastic and receptive audience. Handel’s rousing ‘Coronation Anthems’ opened the programme, with the choir in fine and full voice capturing the splendour of the music. The Symphonic Wind Orchestra was as exciting as ever, creating a high quality sound which raised the roof with the performance of Todd Stalter’s ‘Critical Mass’. The Orchestra closed the concert with some extremely accomplished playing. Performing for the first time with its new conductor, Ruth Partington, it negotiated the demands of Shostakovich (Little Jazz Suite), Offenbach and Beethoven with professional aplomb. A wonderful experience for our musicians in an inspirational setting.

Among the audience was OC Charles Rawlinson, who wrote:

“Together with my old friend John Lebus (SH1950) I attended the School Concert in St John’s Smith Square in Westminster. Both John and I were involved in the foundation of Britten Sinfonia which I have been able to bring to Canford in the last two years to give master classes and a concert. For both of us the concert yesterday was a remarkable experience; the quality of the playing and singing was of the highest standard and Canford should be extremely proud of its musicians and the teaching which they are receiving. Such a concert could be given anywhere and Old Canfordians like me should be very proud of the School as it is today.  I would in particular like to mention the exceptional playing of the Symphonic Wind Orchestra; it was difficult to believe that this was made up of school pupils and not much older and more experienced players.  Chris Sparkhall , James Aiken ,Ruth Partington and their colleagues can be justifiably delighted with what they are achieving and I hope that Britten Sinfonia may be able to come to Canford again next year.”

Photos from the concert can be found here:

St John’s Smith Square – Part 1

St John’s Smith Square – Part 2

St John’s Smith Square – Part 3

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