This summer 36 musicians accompanied by Mrs Khoo, Mr Cooper, Mr Stock and Miss Crane, embarked on a Big Band tour to the Czech Republic. We were privileged to perform in a variety of exciting venues – the Spa Colonnade in Marianske Lazne, the Ostrov Piarist Monastery Church, the Chateau of Breznice and the Open air stage of Zlute Lazne. The Band played with their usual verve to enthusiastic audiences, demonstrating their musical ability to adapt to the challenges of each acoustic.
We were able to perform a wide ranging programme including our new Big Band repertoire showcasing swing, funk, latin and ballads from the greatest Big Band legends of the last 80 years. In addition, our string players added real depth to the sound as they accompanied our vocal numbers which featured some of our most talented singers. Our Boy’s Barbershop, Girls Choir and Chamber Choir sang to great acclaim a variety of choral music ranging from Bruckner to Harold Arlen.
Our concert at Ostrov was particularly memorable as we found ourselves being filmed by the local television network. Our musicians rose to the occasion, enjoying the wonderful acoustics of the Monastery Church and of course the opportunity to appear on TV! The audience were visibly moved by the beauty of our choral selection and we were thrilled to be given a standing ovation at the end.
It was an unforgettable experience for everyone involved, to play to such musically appreciative audiences who were clearly impressed by the depth and breadth of musical talent, as well as with the professionalism and maturity with which the children conducted themselves. I was constantly asked where we were from and if we were a specialist music school! We finished the week feeling immense pride not only in the commitment and talent of our musicians but also having hugely enjoyed spending the week in the company of such fine young adults who are a credit to our school.
See the TV Clip here: Big Band on Czech TV
By Hilary Khoo, Director of Music