Review: Christmas Concert

A review of the Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Department Christmas Concert…

At the end of a mammoth term, both in length and in musical content we were treated to one ‘last hurrah’ and true to form this event didn’t disappoint.  

Under the eagle eye (and direction) of Departmental Head, Alex Arkwright, this was a concert of immense polish and variety featuring the major ensembles from this area alongside some notable solo contributions.  An impromptu tribute to the late Nelson Mandela kicked things off (a nice touch without being sentimental) and thereafter flavour flowed.

The Big Band, fresh from their Romeo and Juliet bonanza, set the mood with Bella Imi (EL Hu) as a fine featured vocalist, and after a truly remarkable virtuoso flute duo from Emily Venn (MM U6) and Sarah Mattinson (MM Re), Archie Lynas (LI U6) delighted the enthusiastic audience with a tuba concerto by Eddie Gregson (Miss T providing the usual classy accompaniment).  A well-crafted and characterful performance from the Saxophone Ensemble followed (under expert guidance from Hayley Lambert) leading to a fizzing razzle-dazzle display from the Percussion Ensemble led by the flamboyant Sacha Johnson.

A final farewell to our marvellous bagpipes guru Bernie Aitken (who will be sorely missed) saw her team deliver a stirring performance of several numbers and the grand finale to conclude a memorable evening came from Brasser.

Brasser is part of the musical fabric of Marlborough College: inclusive, brimming with passion and preserving a long standing tradition of high quality music making – and on this hearing, preserve that they did.

Hurrah indeed.  Bravo all.

Philip Dukes
Artistic Director

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