Heads of Harmony: A Captivating Music Recital at Shrewsbury Riverside


We often talk about the success stories of our talented students, but on Wednesday, January 17th, 2024, we celebrated a different set of virtuosos: our very own Heads of Study! The stage pulsed with an electrifying atmosphere as they transformed from educators to performers, showcasing their musical mastery at the Heads of Study Music Recital.

Cecilia McDowall's "Framed" set the tone, a triptych of inspiration drawn from art. We waltzed alongside Renoir in the Parisian "Ball at the Moulin de la Galette," felt the cool hush of Whistler's "Nocturne in Blue and Gold," and soared with the angelic Baroque brilliance of Marmion's "A Choir of Angels.” Paul Archibald and Jay Jantararat navigated this emotional tapestry with effortless grace and harmony.

Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise," a wordless serenade, took centre stage next. Rowena Calvert's cello spun lyrical lines around Jay Jantararat's supportive piano; their combined artistry brought Rachmaninoff's poignant melody to life in a language beyond words.

Then came Ploen Sopitpongstorn's poignant vocals melded with Irina Novikova's elegant piano in Erich Wolfgang Korngold's "Sterbelied." The Abschiedslieder, with their Mahlerian depth, resonated with themes of love, loss, and farewell, reminding us of the preciousness of each moment.

Our Head of Strings, Rowena Calvert, embarked on a solo odyssey with Ayub Ogada's "Kothbiro." Her cello weaved a mesmerising tapestry of sound, seamlessly blending classical and contemporary elements. It was a testament to her innovative spirit and mastery of diverse musical landscapes.

Finally, Paul Archibald closed the night with the ethereal beauty of Jonathan Harvey's "Other Presences." - inspired by Tibetan Buddhist rituals unfolded like a sonic mandala, trumpet melodies looping and harmonising in real-time, creating a sense of otherworldly serenity.

The Heads of Study Music Recital wasn't just a display of virtuosity but a powerful demonstration of the passion that fuels our music department. We witnessed artists who live and breathe music, pouring their heart and soul into every note. This passion is the thread that binds them to their students, the fuel that ignites the fire of musical love in every classroom and rehearsal.

Their on-stage dedication, talent, and unwavering passion resonate in every lesson, every rehearsal, and every note shared with their students. This recital was a testament to their artistry and a promise of the musical magic that awaits the next generation of Shrewsbury musicians.

So, here's to our performers for their exceptional performance and the dedication and inspiration they bring to our school. The music they create may fade from the concert hall, but the fire they ignite in their students will burn bright and linger through the corridors of Shrewsbury Riverside for years to come.

Watch the full performance here

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