On Sunday 4 February Queen’s held the second annual Orchestral Festival; the question was whether it would live up to the inaugural event of last March and the answer was a resounding ‘yes!’
Led by the Artistic Director of the Southern Sinfonia, Simon Chalk together, with a team of professional leads from the orchestra, the day consisted of various sectional and whole orchestra rehearsals where 48 students from Queen’s and the wider community worked on three pieces, the rondeau from ‘Abdelazer’ by Purcell, the theme from ‘The Big Country’ and the ‘Thunderbirds’ march, for a concert at the end of the day.
Using a variety of venues around the school, the whole campus was alive with music, apart from when the pupils took a break for brunch! The sectional rehearsals were purposeful but fun and it was easy to hear progress almost with every play-through. After refreshments at 3.00pm, parents and friends packed the Queen’s Hall to hear what the pupils had achieved and were amazed by what they heard.
In the space of just a few hours, the students had produced three polished performances of pieces they saw for the first time at 10.30am! The day also provided an exciting glimpse into the world of the professional orchestra with our leads passing on their knowledge and experience not only in instrument specialism but in the wider life of a professional orchestra. It was a fabulous day and the delight and enjoyment of the experience was easy to see on the faces of all the participants, both students and adults. Many thanks to all those who took part and especially to the skilled professional musicians who made it such a unique and special day.