The annual Company Music Festival took place on Friday 3rd October, beginning with solo classes in five categories – Piano, Voice, Strings, Woodwind and Brass, continuing with Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles and concluding with the loudest and most colourful event of the school year – the Company Shout.
Since the beginning of term, there have been weekly early morning rehearsals, with some Companies squeezing in extra practices at break times, and the effort put in was most certainly born out in a triumph of choreography, showmanship and even some singing.
In front of a full Chapel, the winners of the solo classes competed for the Kirby Prize which is awarded on Founders’ Day, and it was won for the second year running by Rebecca. Her engaging performance of Batti, Batti O bel Masetto from Mozart’s Don Giovanni held of extremely stiff competition from Miriam on the recorder, Holly, trumpet, Georgina, violin and Angela, piano.
As in 2007, the ensembles combined some fine musicianship with plenty of comedy, with Moberly winning both the Vocal and Instrumental categories; their hairbrush-assisted interpretation of You raise me up was one of the highlights of the day.
The Festival concluded with the five ‘Shouts’ accompanied with distinction by the Jazz Band. Performing five well known songs – Mercy, Shine, Valerie, Son of a Preacher Man and Here come the girls, each Company performed with great commitment, showing that considerable effort had been put into the preparation. The adjudicator, Mr Robin Nelson, formerly Director of Music at Marlborough College, found picking a winner a difficult task, but settled on the musicality and subtlety shown by Grosstete in Son of a Preacher Man, just ahead of the all-round show qualities of Osmund in their rendition of Mercy.
A long and hard-fought day was deemed a great success, and girls are already heard to be plotting next year’s assaults on the trophies!