Review: Bobby’s 24 hour Music Marathon

Category: Music

In spectacular style and with an extraordinary team effort the College presented a 24-hour music marathon in memory of Bobby Cox and in support of Bobby's Fund, which in turn supports The Brain Tumour Charity and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.  Some 300 performers took part, presenting over 250 different pieces of music, and at the time of writing, nearly £7,000 has been raised. 

There were all manner of events in this live music extravaganza: they ranged from the serious to the fun, and from the intimate to the downright absurd!   There seemed no better place to begin then the sanctuary of the Chapel to enjoy a reflective and peaceful performance from the Chamber Choir by candlelight, contrasted perfectly in style and content by the Big Band who followed on from them in the Goodison.

Next came a bespoke one hour of Music Scholar performances with particular congratulations to Shona Scott, James Wright and Christopher Beswick for some delightful music making.

Common Room cabaret promised much and it didn't disappoint!  This was an opportunity to hear some of the hidden talents of Marlborough College staff and it was entertaining as much as it was revealing. We had singers, haggis stabbing, bagpipes, comedy, crooners, amateur brass ensembles, elephants (in the form of a double bass solo) and a good old fashion rock band. What was not to like?

'Through the Night' amounted to full-time music staff and friends each grabbing an hour to ensure a continuous chain, bringing us into the daylight of the 'Breakfast Club' which was presented by Sinfonia Strings' and a whole array of individual junior performances.

Next came the sung Eucharist in Chapel, book-ended by extended organ voluntaries from Ian Crabbe, and thereafter half an hour of very special music making from the prep school pupils of St. Francis.

The Master then delighted the assembled company with some Handel (tenor and piano) before the visiting music teachers entertained with a musical potpourri leading into a two-hour Choral Society workshop of Advent Carols with Adam Staines.

In preparation for the grand finale,  there then followed an open orchestral rehearsal in the Ellis Theatre, and as the audience gathered in the Ellis Foyer they were treated to some fabulous informal music making from the Funk and Soul Band, Freddie Elmberg (BH U6) and the Saxophone Quartet.

A rousing and inspirational final concert from the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra brought proceedings to a close, in front of a packed Ellis Theatre and at last the day was done.

The overriding experience was one of terrific energy, a sense of community, and one of hope. Precious ingredients for life.

Philip Dukes
Artistic Director

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