This year’s Spring Concert was an excellent showcase for the musical talents and abilities of Antrim Grammar School pupils. The programme was varied and appealing, with many recognisable pieces played to a very high standard. It’s maybe unfair to single out individuals, but for me the stand out item of the night was Emily Bowman’s rendition of the theme to Schindler’s List (John Williams), it was evocative and sensitively played.
The big set pieces by the Orchestra and the Windband were all equally strong; great technical improvements have been made with consistent rehearsal and preparation. The Windband’s presentation of Livin’ on a Prayer (Arr. Paul Murtha) was a rousing piece, familiar to many in the audience as a rock classic. The Orchestra’s medley of songs from The Sound of Music (Richard Rodgers) was potentially a real sing along, though everyone was suitably restrained on the night. Both senior and junior choirs sang medleys from Les Miserables (Claude-Michel Schonberg) and were able to convey the great pathos of the musical and use many solo singers in their performance of these arrangements. I loved Adiemus, the theme from “Songs of Sanctuary” (Karl Jenkins); it was expertly sung and a compelling piece.
Individual singers were incredibly strong and added another dimension to the evening, in particular Cerys Kennedy’s delivery of Defying Gravity (Stephen Schwartz) from the West End show, Wicked, was spectacular.
All of these performances were enhanced by the accomplished work of the sound and lighting team who were able to set off each element of the evening seamlessly.
None of this would have been possible without the oversight of Mrs Valerie Norwood, supported by Mr David Gillespie, Mrs Sarah Gilmour and Dr John Reidy. The musical abilities and encouragement of all of these people was recognised by the pupils in their presentations at the end of the evening. In all, it was thoroughly entertaining evening.