The annual London Music Scholars’ Gala Concert is always a very special night, and the concert this year was no exception. We returned to the David Josefowitz Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, which once again proved the ideal venue for a performance of chamber music of the very highest order. A packed house meant a great atmosphere too, made all the more special after the absence of this event last year due to Covid.
The sheer range of music on display was nothing short of dramatic and offered something to suit every musical taste. There was music by contemporary and living composers, a splash of jazz, and repertoire from every musical era dating back to Tomas Luis de Victoria (born 1548).
Performances included a ten piece brass ensemble, various string ensembles (including trios and quartets), woodwind duos and trios, a brass fanfare, concerti, a percussion solo, and a number of extremely persuasive vocal ensembles, including Compline Choir, an excerpt from Fidelio and three songs for tenor and ensemble by Vaughan Williams. Special praise should be given to each and every one of the performers who contributed so much to the occasion. Given that this concert was prepared amidst the challenges of such a busy term, this made it all the more commendable.
With Music Scholar numbers currently at the highest level that they have ever been and based on the evidence of this event, it is abundantly clear that the heartbeat of the Music Department at Marlborough is very strong and healthy.