Festival of Music

Posted on 07 Apr 2017


Our talented young musicians took to the stage to demonstrate their skills at Merseyside’s most prestigious concert venue recently.

More than 250 pupils from St. Mary’s College & Preparatory School took part in our annual Festival of Music at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool.

The concert featured a wide range of musical ensembles including St. Mary’s award-winning Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Band, Stage Band, Chamber Consort, Show Choir, Chamber Choir and Preparatory School Concert Choir.

The musical showcase also featured a special guest appearance by the choir from St. Luke’s C of E Primary School in Formby.

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

As in previous years the St. Mary’s Philharmonic concert featured a wide-ranging and ambitious repertoire which ranged from Brahms Symphony No 1 to Ravel’s Bolero and the orchestral suite from hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, the Phantom of the Opera.

Audience members were also able to enjoy such diverse treats as the Festive Overture by Shostakovich, Louis Prima’s Sing Sing Sing, the Light Cavalry Overture by Von Suppe and Colin Johnston’s choral fugue arrangement of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.

The soloists this year were Alexandra Campbell who played the snare drum in Bolero, singers Jessica Houghton and Sophie Clarke, and viola player Ellen Griffiths.

Ellen achieved the Level 4 Diploma in Music Performance of the Associate of Trinity College London recently, and has been described by Andrew Byers as the most talented music student he has ever taught.

Speaking after the concert, Mr Byers said: “This is the 19th year in a row that we have staged our Philharmonic Hall Festival of Music, and this year’s performers maintained the very high standards set by their predecessors.

“This reflects all the hard work they put in to preparing for the concert, and the incredibly high standards of musicianship they displayed rightly received a wonderful ovation from the audience at the end of the evening.”

St. Mary’s College Principal, Mike Kennedy, added: “This event demonstrated once again that music is a wonderful vehicle for developing pupils beyond the purely academic, and shaping their characters and personalities in new and often surprising ways.”

With the Philharmonic concert over, the St. Mary’s students will now begin rehearsals for the other highlight of the College’s musical calendar, the summer Proms in the Park event.

This year’s music and fireworks extravaganza will take place at St. Mary’s Blundell Park playing field on Saturday 8th July.