Making Music from a Distance

This term, music making at Lancing has had to adapt – like everything else – to our changed circumstances and the pupils have risen magnificently to the challenge. They have recorded over 200 videos on their devices which have been edited into numerous music videos, enabling us to continue to present our programme of summer concerts and choral singing at services. We are immensely grateful to James Smith, one of our guitar teachers, who has been instrumental in editing the videos behind the scenes.

Composition Competitions
Congratulations to the three composers who took part in the Organ Recital and inaugural Composition Competition. Inevitably, the pieces written by Theo, Benjamin and Cecily had to be recorded from home and shared with students and staff via Microsoft Teams. However, that didn’t stop the young composers from producing excellent original work. As the adjudicator, Mr Langworthy, said: ‘I was very impressed with the standard of submissions. Composition is a fine and delicate art, both highly technical and highly personal. All three pieces moved me greatly, and all had great flair and distinctiveness.’ Competition winner Cecily M (Sixth Form) has written about the experience: ‘The organ recital included a programme of preludes by Wagner and Bach, and three student compositions. Although we were sadly unable to listen in person, the digital format did allow for a good view of Mr Mason’s superb playing on the Chapel’s Walker organ. It was also good to be able to see inside the Chapel again, despite not being on campus. The three entries came from Theo A (Third Form), Benjamin I-C (Fourth Form), and me. Each of us approached this challenge in rather different ways – for example Benjamin, himself an organist, took a technical angle, with a wonderfully detailed description of which stops he requested to create the sound he wanted. I was honoured to win against these two compositions, and I enjoyed it so much I will try writing for organ again in the future! I think it’s great that the Music Department has been encouraging students to be creative and try their hand at composition; other students have also been sending in recordings of their own music for other digital concerts.’
Many congratulations also go to Upper Sixth Former Jon L, who was the winner of this term’s Piano Composition Competition with his piece A Meaningless Impromptu.

A Virtual Lancing Choir
Members of Lancing College Choir continued their rehearsals from the UK and further afield. During the Summer Term Mr Mason organised a full programme of performances, which were shared with the whole Lancing community on occasions such as the weekly Head Master’s Assemblies, the Leavers’ Service and Founder’s Day. The recordings, which included God be in my Head, Locus Iste and Ave Verum Corpus, are available to watch and listen on the College’s Vimeo channel:

An Evening of Song
Recorded remotely, An Evening of Song was a wonderful celebration of singing. Introducing the session, Mr Mason said: ‘Singing is an extremely important activity at Lancing – from our vibrant choral tradition to many other styles. Our pupils are fortunate to be guided by a team of highly experienced teachers.’ On this occasion we were delighted to listen to the Lancing A Cappella Club singing the very first performance of Mr Langworthy’s original composition I Wish It Was Me, which can be viewed here:

A Review of the Summer Concert
Fourth Former Benjamin I-C writes: 'Like so many other musicians across the world, the College’s Music Department went virtual. The Coronavirus crisis posed a great challenge to the continuation of musical performances but, in true Lancing style, we accepted the challenge and overcame it triumphantly. There was no occasion that demonstrated this so brilliantly as the culmination of this term’s musical calendar: the Summer Concert. For both performers and audience, this year’s concert was rather different. However, this did not limit the grandeur of the repertoire that we were able to perform. On the programme was the finale from Saint-Saëns’s majestic Organ Symphony and Edward Elgar’s rousing Land of Hope and Glory, particularly poignant in the year commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The work behind the scenes was new and exciting: all members of the orchestra, spread across the globe, were sent a recorded backing track from Mr Mason, which kept us all in sync for the compilation of the individual recordings. The final recordings were edited by Mr Smith, who achieved the most glorious reverb and echo effects which alluded to the acoustics of Great School. It was a wonderful reminder of how lucky we are at Lancing to be immersed in the talent of our peers and staff – displayed in this particular case by the revelation of both Mr Mason and Mr Langworthy’s new-found percussion skills!'