Badminton School raises the roof at St George’s Bristol
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On Wednesday 7 February, the musicians of Badminton School gathered at the renowned Bristol concert hall, St George’s, to perform at the school’s annual Spring Concert.
A former 200-year-old Georgian church, St George’s Bristol was once described by Sir Simon Rattle as having ‘the best acoustic for chamber music in Europe’ and the pupils at Badminton School made full use of its professional splendour.
Under the baton of the school’s Director of Music, Mr Mark Dowd, the programme for the evening, performed by the school’s various choirs and orchestras, included pieces by Ola Gjeilo, Steinberg & Kelly’s True Colours and Consider Yourself from Oliver!
Three soloists for the concert were students in the Upper Sixth. Jasmine Wong’s rendition of O mio babbino caro, was followed by an electrifying Let the Bright Seraphim from Handel’s oratoria Samson. Yijing Ren’s virtuosic playing of the Schumann Fantasiestucke, Op12 had younger pupils hanging over the balconies of St George’s to watch. When the third soloist, Kristina Gvozdyuk was joined on stage by drums and bass, the atmosphere changed. Electrifying playing of the jazz melodies of Sasko and of Peterson filled the hall and received a rapturous reception. A poignant moment for the young performers.
Mr Mark Dowd, Director of Music at Badminton, commented: “I am profoundly proud of what our young musicians have achieved today. For a school to perform at this level usually requires legions of professional musicians supporting the student performers, but not at Badminton. There were many remarkable performances this evening, but the orchestra’s faultless performance of Strauss’ Emperor Waltz was made even more remarkable with the addition of only a handful of teachers. The lyrical and technically faultless performance was worthy of any adult orchestra. I am overjoyed not only that the quality of our musicians was demonstrated this evening, but that their individual enjoyment of performing to over 500 people, was evident in the beaming smiles I had the pleasure of witnessing as they left the stage”.
Mrs Jessica Miles, Head, who joined Badminton less than a year ago, commented in her end of concert speech that she had been “utterly blown away” by the performances.