The annual House Music competition is the first major event of the School year and close to 1000 people gathered in Courage Hall to enjoy a scintillating night of exceptional musical talent. The School was honoured to welcome celebrated bass-baritone singer Matthew Brook, who treated the audience to a rendition of The Tale of the Oyster from Cole Porter’s 50 Million Frenchmen after they returned from the interval, accompanied by Director of Music Mrs Hilary Khoo on the piano.
Each of the six School Houses entertained the crowd with a PartSong (Thomas Morley’s ‘Now is the Month of Maying’), an Ensemble, some of which were arranged by Sixth Form students, and a Unison Song, featuring both instruments and voice.
Particular highlights included East House’s tributes to recently lost musical icons Prince, Glenn Frey and David Bowie, arranged and conducted by Jonathon Ditmore (Upper Sixth) featuring a lively bass guitar from Andrew Liddell (Upper Sixth), South House’s Unison song ‘September’, accompanied admirably by alto saxophonist Maddie Newby (U6) and conducted by Amelia McLintock (Upper Sixth) which was fitting since the event happened to fall on the ‘21st night in September’, just as the lyrics in the original song suggest; and School House’s version of the popular “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, featuring an effortlessly smooth mid-chorus moonwalk from 2nd Year boarder Yegor Vyshnevskyy!
The overall winners on the night were North House, superbly captained by Jonathan Moore (Upper Sixth), who also picked up the individual Arrangement cup and the Ensemble award. The award for PartSong went to South House, and East House won the Unison song, with Jonathon Ditmore also collecting the Musical Direction cup. Pianist JQ Low (Upper Sixth) and Trumpeter Greg Harding (Upper Sixth) both walked away with individual Instrumental awards.
Housemaster of North House, Mr Steve Salisbury, couldn’t believe they had won and paid tribute to the hard work and commitment of his students over the last few weeks and particularly to the dedication of senior (Upper Sixth) pupils Jonathan Moore, Eleana Winand, Joseph Dawe and Stuart Cameron.
One proud parent of a first year girl was heard commenting to Headmaster Ian Davies: “I was delighted to see my daughter taking part, I was so surprised she put herself forward.”, which matched the sentiment of Matthew Brook, who ended the night with some motivating words for all the pupils, saying that they will remember this night where they performed in front of an audience for many years to come, and that wherever they go they will take their music with them.
To view all the photographs from the night, click here.