Lent Concert Review

Friday 29 March was a perfect spring day. The sun was shining in the Quads and the final rehearsals were underway for one of the highlights of Lancing’s musical calendar: the Lent Concert. 
At 7.30pm Great School was packed to capacity with our loyal following of parents, pupils, staff and local music enthusiasts. The evening commenced with the Big Band under the baton of David Whitson. This was an uplifting start to the programme with a rendition of Meacham’s The American Patrol, closely followed by Garland’s In the Mood and finally It Don’t Mean a Thing by Ellington & Mills. 
Led by Eira Owen, the Brass Ensemble gave us a delightful trio of pieces from Handel’s The Water Music. Next the 45-piece Concert Band under the direction of Steve Dummer promised to play ‘loud enough to drown out the sound of wine bottles being uncorked’ for the interval drinks! This performance of Gorb’s Yiddish Dances (Khosidl and Freylachs) was so much more than that; the joy of the dance was expertly portrayed, and the performance was full of delight and suspense. It was a logistical difficulty to fit all the musicians on stage, but the power of their performance appeared effortless. Sixth Former Ivan L, E♭ clarinettist, came forward to take a well-deserved bow at the end. 
Then came an opportunity for the Chapel Choir to showcase their excellence under the direction of the supremely talented Hamish Dustagheer. Our piece, Stars by Eriks Ešenvalds, allowed us to demonstrate our ‘glass’ playing prowess, using glasses filled with water to create a shimmering accompaniment. Voices and glasses rang out in perfect harmony, and a beautiful solo from Benjamin I-C brought this piece, and the first half of the concert, to an end. 
The second half began with a stylish and accomplished performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. The String Chamber Orchestra, directed by Roland Roberts, featured soloists Cecily M and Polly M, both of whom should be commended on their outstanding performances. 
The grand finale of the evening belonged to the Symphony Orchestra, again under the baton of Roland Roberts and expertly led by first violinist Cecily M. Almost 60 musicians (violins, violas, cellos, double basses, flutes, piccolo, oboes, clarinets, bassoons and contrabassoon, trumpets, horns, trombones, and timpani) performed all four movements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. This dramatic piece started with its iconic ‘Dum dum dum dum ...’ and the audience knew they were in for a wild ride and dramatic close to the evening. A special mention should go to Lancing Prep Worthing’s Year 7 violinist extraordinaire, Grace S, who was more than comfortable amongst this collection of fine musicians. 
As the symphony drew to a close, rapturous applause erupted from the well-satisfied audience. It was a thoroughly entertaining evening, and another mark of musical excellence in Lancing history.

Kitty C, Upper Sixth