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St Cecilia Concerts: a musical celebration

The St Cecilia Concerts took place last week in the Mitchener Hall, over two evenings. Both concerts included a wide array of musical styles from classical to jazz and pop and in particular featured music for Black History Month by The Dixie Cups, Nigerian Afro-beat artist Fela Kuti, Emeli Sandé, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and African American composer Florence Price. 

The first featured Junior Choir and Junior Orchestra each made up of over thirty students in Year 7 and 8. They both performed with great enthusiasm – music included two songs from the recent Barbie movie and Viva La Vida by Coldplay.  

TGS Ukuleles have been run continuously for the last twelve years by Sixth Form student leaders and this year they performed Iko Iko and I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.

Both the concerts featured instrumental and vocal soloists from years 7 to 12. All performed beautifully, demonstrating an amazing mix of confidence, creativity and communication skills – inspiring for all to see. 

Older student musicians featured in the second evening in a lively debut performance by the Funk Band. Congratulations to them for organising this real crowd-pleaser. We look forward to further performances later this term on 5 December in the IB Music Showcase for sixth form musicians. 

TGS has a fantastic tradition of choral singing and this year different TGS choirs performed each evening due to the large numbers involved. Cantores, the choir for students in Years 8 and 9, raised the roof with The Heavenly Aeroplane and Next to Me by Emeli Sandé and Chamber Choir for years 10-13 moved the audience with a Shoshone (native American) love song and got the audience tapping their collective feet with Walking on Sunshine.  

Some audience participation with the Jazz Band livened the mood in Water No Get Enemy by Fela Kuti and the South Indian instrument the veena made a beautiful addition to Stories from India as performed by Year 10 Music GCSE musician Veda with the band. Chamber Orchestra rounded off the evenings with music by Italian composer Rossini arranged by Benjamin Britten and then the Juba Dance by Florence Price.  

Florence Price

The most ambitious piece was the Stabat Mater by 18th century Venetian composer Giovanni Pergolesi on Thursday. This brought together nearly 150 performers from two choirs and orchestra for this moving Italian piece depicting the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross. The Italian theme is deliberate: 80 TGS musicians will travel to Italy next July in the first international music trip since lockdown. We are all very excited at this amazing prospect! 

A huge thank you from the music team to all performers for their ongoing commitment to music at TGS, to the audiences for supporting them and for their generosity.  The concerts’ retiring collections raised £929.23 for Barnardo’s.  Cake donations totalled £719.14 and will fund specialist piano movers siting our new pianos in the Music Department; ticket sales have raised funds for our Music Instrumental Renewals Appeal.


Tagged  Music