Bringing Live Music Back to Wycombe Abbey

The Autumn Term has seen a long-awaited return to School music-making. It has been wonderful to see our choirs and orchestras back to strength with girls across year groups rehearsing and playing together. We have had a welcome return to our programme of events ranging from the weekly lunchtime concerts through to the large-scale events such as last weekend’s range of activities including RockSoc, School Communion and the Archer Concert.

On Saturday 6 November the first RockSoc concert of the year took place featuring five Wycombe Abbey bands: Ionic (Tabita, Angelina, Kathleen, Kelly), Ultimatum (Georgia, Katie, Yuna, Lynn), Bad Guy and the Blondes (Sophie, Nicola, Ettie, Phoebe, Ellie), the debut performance from new band Watchers from the Blind (Funto, Claudia, Lucinda, Claudia, Gwendolyn) and singer/songwriter Semal. The concert consisted of over 25 songs with a diverse collection of music ranging from The Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Radiohead, McFly, Ariana Grande and original songs written by the girls. All bands performed with technical accomplishment, bringing their own style and interpretation to the music, and with confident stage presence. A large and lively audience packed Seniors Hall which had been decorated to re-create a mini-festival feel with large stage and vibrant lighting.

On Sunday evening we were delighted to welcome a live audience back to School to hear our annual Archer Concert. The evening provided a showcase for large ensembles through to soloists and the programme ranged from Beethoven to Morricone. We opened with Chamber Orchestra, conducted by our Head of Strings, Mr Acosta, performing Wagner’s Ein Albumblatt, Nielsen’s Intermezzo and finishing with the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso featuring Carys (UVI) on solo saxophone. Chapel Choir performed two anthems by English composers, The True Glory by Peter Aston and Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter. Hojung (UV) delivered a wonderfully colourful performance of Vieuxtemp’s Reverie and was followed by our Upper Fifth String Quartet playing the equally melodic Chanson de Matin by Elgar. Our Chamber Choir and Holst Singers, performed two challenging contemporary pieces, Tundra  by Ola Gjeilo and The Seal Lullaby by Eric Whitacre. Our last soloist was Gwyneth (LV) who delivered a bravura performance of Chopin’s Ballade No 4. The evening closed with the Symphony Orchestra performing a dramatic rendition of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture before closing the concert with Howard Shore’s evocative score from the film The Lord of the Rings.

Mr Stefan Reid
Director of Music