The evening of Tuesday 5th of July saw Ripon Grammar School’s wide range of musical ensembles play for the annual summer concert and presentation of music colours. The concert was off to a lively start with the Big Band playing ‘Big Noise from Winnetka’ by Haggart, which was then followed by R. Rodgers’ ‘My Funny Valentine’ with mellifluous solos from Tom Lonsdale and Ethan McMurray. Guitar Ensemble charmed us with GCSE student Cameron Kaye’s own GCSE composition alongside ‘Zorba the Greek’ and ‘La Bamba’
Following on from Guitar Ensemble was Senior Girls’ Choir who, even with limited numbers, still managed to tug at the heart strings with an acapella arrangement of ‘And so it Goes’ by Billy Joel. After the piece, Susie Morgan sang ‘Serenade’ by Schubert, with top notes pinging out with the utmost of ease, accompanied by Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla on piano.
Who better to follow that sensitive performance than Man Choir? Their rendition of Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s my Life’ and solos from Callum Richardson and Scott Place earned them rapturous applause. Their next piece contrasted beautifully with Bon Jovi’s upbeat momentum. Steal Away is a traditional piece arranged for Man Choir by the Head of Music, Mr Seymour, and I’m sure that he was proud of their performance as Man Choir handled it delicately and as such, the result was a beautifully tranquil ambience in the hall.This tranquility served as a perfect transition into Chamber Choir’s lively rendition of ‘The Goslings’ by Frederick Bridge, a quirky piece characterised by its exaggerated dynamic contrasts and offbeat lyrics, of which the singers demonstrated a brilliant interpretation.Their second piece, ‘The Lover’s Ghost’, highlighted the beautifully weaved melodic lines of Ralph Vaughan Williams and provided a poignant end to the first section of the concert, after which, half colours were awarded to Harry Canning, Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla and James Kitchingman; 3 dedicated members of multiple ensembles across the music department.
Wind Band lead the second half of the night with a spirited performance of ‘Trailblaze’ by Goff Richards, succeeding the triumphant piece with ‘Birdland’ by Zawinul, a jazz standard handled admirably by the musicians.Half colour recipient Anika then proceeded to captivate the audience with an impressive performance of ‘Sholem-alekhem, rov Freidman!’ by Kovacs, a composition that posed extreme technical and stylistic challenges which Anika handled skillfully and seemingly with ease.Singers of the lower school then came together in the form of Musicality, starting out with an arrangement by Milt Rogers of the 60’s hit ‘California Dreaming’.This preceded a delicate delivery of the traditional song ‘Amazing Grace’, leading on to the crowd-pleasing classic ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ by Carole Oliver.String orchestra provided a stylistic contrast with ‘Celtic Suite’ by Wiggins and again with ‘Ashakon Farewell’ by Ungar, both featuring extensive solo passages from leaving musician Tim Pope. The string Orchestra, led by Miss Stables, displayed talent and versatility in their playing which created a perfect segue into the presentation of full colours as we approached the end of the evening.Full colours were awarded to 3 talented members of the lower sixth; Monty Merchie, Joy Sutcliffe and Alec Cavell-Taylor who have shown exemplary dedication and commitment to the music department during their time at RGS.
Exultantly rounding off the evening was Big Band, with their performances of Hoaward Arlen’s ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder creating a finale representative of the success of the night, for which a huge amount credit goes towards Mr Seymour and Mrs Morpeth whom I’m sure are very proud of the hard work put into music at RGS, not only for the concert but throughout the entirety of the school year.