Festival of Music - 20th Anniversary

Posted on 21 Mar 2018

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Our exceptional musicians took to the stage for our annual concert at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall in an anniversary year for the event.

This was the 20th year in a row that pupils from both the College and the Preparatory School have demonstrated their musical skills in the school’s Festival of Music at Merseyside’s most prestigious concert venue.

More than 250 students took part in the concert in a wide range of musical ensembles including our award-winning Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Band, Stage Band, Chamber Consort, Show Choir, Chamber Choir, Lower School Choir and Preparatory School Concert Choir. The musical showcase also featured a special guest appearance by the choir from Valewood Primary School in Crosby.

The compère for the event was popular BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, and the ensembles were conducted by Director of Music, Andrew Byers, and his colleagues Colin Johnston and Joanne Booth.

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As in previous years, the concert featured an eclectic and ambitious repertoire which ranged from Liszt’s Poème Symphonique - Les Préludes to a medley of ABBA classics. Along the way audience members also enjoyed such diverse treats as Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the theme from hit movie Superman Returns and the Orchestral Suite from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The soloists at this year’s concert included talented Sixth Formers Joshua Quinlan, Carla Mendoza and Charlotte Senior. Joshua, who was recently offered a place at Trinity College Cambridge to read music, performed the second movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A. Meanwhile, Carla, who has been offered a place at the Royal College of Music, played Max Bruch’s Romanze for viola, and Charlotte played the challenging first movement of the Stamitz Flute Concerto in D entirely from memory.

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Commenting on the concert, Andrew Byers said: “It’s a special year for this event which has featured some wonderful performances over the past two decades. I am delighted to say that this year’s musicians maintained the very high standards set by their predecessors.

“This reflects both their talent and all the hard work they have put into preparing for the concert over many months. They rightly received a wonderful ovation from the audience at the end of the evening.”

Principal, Mike Kennedy, added: “This concert demonstrated once again what the Independent Schools Inspectorate concluded in its recent inspection report: the standard of music at St. Mary’s is exceptional.” 

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With the Philharmonic event now over, the St. Mary’s pupils have already started rehearsals for the other highlight of the college musical calendar, the summer Proms in the Park concert. This year’s music-and-fireworks extravaganza will take place at St. Mary’s Blundell Park playing field in Crosby on Saturday 14th July.