The Wycombe Abbey Orchestral Concert

Held at St Mary’s Church in Marylebone, the annual Spring Term Orchestral Concert was once again a huge success. It felt more special than ever before, not only because it was the first School concert held in London since the Covid-19 pandemic, but also because I had personally experienced it as both a Clarence soloist and a member of the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.

The church was filled with anticipation and excitement. Lucinda (UVI) led with a trumpet concerto by Haydn, then Claudia (UVI) sang an operatic aria from Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. After Chamber Orchestra’s exciting performance of Britten’s Simple Symphony, Sinfonia played an extravagant Dance by Dvorak. The night continued with Iris (UVI) performing an exhilarating violin concerto by Khachaturian, Wing-Hei (UVI) on violin and Jocelyn (UVI) on Cello in the fiery Passacaglia duet by Handel-Halvorsen, and a touching storytelling of Faure’s Pelléas et Mélisande by the Symphony Orchestra. Of course, I can’t forget my own performance of the Dvorak-inspired New World Piano Concerto (arranged by my own piano teacher Mr Lenehan), as well as the memorable experience of playing Shostakovich’s Waltz in the combined orchestra, where all the string performers of the night came together as one ensemble.

I am certain that all the other Clarence soloists and I are thankful for the opportunity to showcase our talent in front of a live audience, alongside orchestras that provided beautiful accompaniments to our pieces. The feeling of accomplishment set in as the audience erupted into thunderous applause. Both challenging and rewarding, all performances required hours of preparation and dedication, so I am glad all the hard work paid off.

Undoubtedly, I hope the concert was an unforgettable experience for everyone – one that reminded us of the joy that comes from working together as part of an ensemble, as well as the power and beauty of making music.

UVI, Clarence Soloist (Piano)