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    Spring Fever at Bishop Ramsey

    The arrival of Spring was celebrated at Bishop Ramsey School with the annual Spring Concert.

    Bishop Ramsey Church of England School celebrated the arrival of Spring, and the good weather, with its annual Spring Concert.  A selection of music for all tastes played and sung by students from all years.

    The evening opened appropriately with the familiar ‘Spring’ by Vivaldi played by the Sinfonia. The piece is from ‘The Four Seasons’ one of Vivaldi’s best known works and is among the most popular pieces in the classical music repertoire. In contrast the Sinfonia then played ‘Eureka’ a contemporary piece by Keith Sharp incorporating a lively and uplifting section juxtaposed with a lyrical section.

    A member of the Sinfonia, Andrei Anghel, then played a violin solo – J B Accolay’s ‘Concerto in A Minor’.  Andrei joined the school in 2013 and studies violin at the Guildhall Conservatoire.   He is an exceptional violinist with an extraordinary talent who also plays the piano. His delightful performance thrilled the audience.


    A change of tempo followed with the Senior Choir singing the jazz song ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing’ which is a quote from the composer Duke Ellington meaning ‘what is music if it hasn’t got rhythm?’. The second song came from the 1975 Marvin Hamlisch Broadway musical ‘A Chorus Line’ which was revived in the West End in 2013. The popular ‘One’ is an ensemble number that had toes tapping throughout the audience.

     The room was then transported back to the 2012 Olympic Games with the Wind Band, ages 7 – 9, playing the ever popular ‘Chariots of Fire’ by Vangelis. 

    The next item was tinged with sadness. The leavers’ item, a mixture of music and song, was a performance by the Year 13 students in their last concert at Bishop Ramsey. Many of the students have been involved in the concerts over the years and the music team is sad to lose them but wish them well for the future.

    The first half ended with the rousing concert band playing two very different pieces.  Firstly, ‘Birdland’, a jazz piece made famous by the jazz funk band Weather Report followed by ‘Instant Concert’, an interesting medley of famous classical and folk pieces of music, with sometimes 2 pieces playing simultaneously. This fun piece was a cornucopia of familiar and some less familiar music. It incorporated short, and in some cases miniscule, excerpts of melodies as diverse as opera and ballet to Christmas carols. A few that were included in the mixture were: William Tell, the Can Can, When the Saints Go Marching In, Hoedown, the Bridal Chorus, Jingle Bells and Westminster Chimes, with music from all around the world. Fortunately the audience was helped with the names of the familiar pieces appearing on the display board. With something for everyone this captivating piece was a stirring end to the first half.

    The second half of this delightful concert opened, as the first, with the Sinfonia. This time playing ‘Palladio’ by Karl Jenkins who was inspired to write the piece by the sixteenth century Italian architect Andrea Palladio. The composition has a distinctive feel to it illuminating Palladio’s hallmarks of mathematical harmony and architectural elements borrowed from classical antiquity.

     The audience was then entertained by the remarkable Jazz Band who played the classic ‘Georgia’ made famous by Ray Charles, with its ambiguous lyrics – is Georgia a woman or an American state?  The second piece was the soulful jazz standard  ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’ written for the alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.

    The stage was then filled with the Gospel Choir, one of the largest ensembles at Bishop Ramsey. They entertained with the jovial ‘Jesus Be A Fence’ with solos by the narrators of the evening Ky, Rosie and Elisha, followed by ‘I am not forgotten’.

    The Brass Ensemble entertained with two pieces ‘War’ by Hypnotic Brass, an ensemble of eight brothers from Chicago and a popular song with the band, Cee Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’ in an arrangement by Mr Cullum.

    The delightful concert then came to its conclusion with the beautifully moving ‘Benediction’, a prayerful piece of music and then the familiar rousing ‘Star Wars Marches’.

    Congratulations to all the students who took part and to Mrs Neale, Miss Hunt and Mr Cullum for their hard work.  We look forward to next year’s concert.

    Elaine Neal
    Senior Librarian