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St John’s Smith Square

Karen Smith

Canfordians perform at St John’s Smith Square

The showcase concert in the Canford music calendar took place on Sunday 24th March in the prestigious London concert venue, St John’s Smith Square.  The previous Canford concert held at this very special venue two years ago was so highly acclaimed that this year’s event had rather a reputation to maintain, but it certainly did not disappoint the audience of parents and friends who filled the venue to capacity.

The concert involved over 130 musicians from across the year groups, and featured all the school’s major ensembles.  The programme began with the combined Chapel and Cantabile Choirs performing Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’. There was some well-shaped singing, and the five Upper Sixth pupils who took the solo movements gave accomplished and mature performances. The orchestra’s repertoire was challenging, with two movements from Beethoven’s iconic 5th Symphony confidently and passionately played, and the lively Overture to ‘Candide’ (Bernstein) and a Waltz by Khachaturian providing excellent contrast. The combined forces of the Wind Orchestra and Concert Band gave an evocative performance of ‘Villages’ by Michael Sweeney. Requiring two conductors and four separate ensembles, this tricky piece was much applauded by the audience.  The concert concluded with the Wind Orchestra performing an arrangement of ‘Lux Arumque’ by Eric Whitacre, a lively toe tapping rendition of Robert Buckley’s ‘Jitterbug’ and an impromptu rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Assistant Director of Music, James Aiken who was celebrating his 30th birthday!   

Christopher Sparkhall, Director of Music, commented:

“To perform in such an inspirational setting as St John’s is a rare treat, and a wonderful experience for staff and pupils alike.  The audience seemed genuinely impressed by the standards reached by Canford’s musicians, and by the variety and scope of the programme.  The concert was the result of many hours of rehearsals, but the pupils were well rewarded with the satisfaction of the tremendous results of their hard work, not forgetting of course also the hotly anticipated tradition of the burger stop on the way back to Dorset!”

To view photographs, please visit St John's Smith Square


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