Shrewsbury's Music Department decided to 'just get on with it' when faced with the horror of not being able to perform earlier this term. Digital technology has given our school the ability to make sure that every week, at 4 pm, there would be an online concert available to our community. With over 850 musicians taking instrumental lessons every week, there is an enormous demand for performance opportunities - a challenge that we have all grasped to ensure the students' hard work and dedication is celebrated.
One of the first concerts to welcome a socially distanced audience was 'A Night At The Movies', on Wednesday 17th March. The Chamber Music Programme (lead by Head of Strings Rowena Calvert) and the Senior Choir and Select Choir (lead and conducted by Director of Choral Music Dr Onyu Park) performed several carefully curated pieces.
The choirs, adorned in brand new choir robes, started the concert with a beautiful rendition of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow', which invited star percussionists, bass guitars and a funky piano to join them. Since their last concert in December, they have shown tremendous skill and teamwork. Dr Onyu Park was particularly impressed with their vocal progress and development. The choirs indulged in film scores from Sister Act, Wizard Of Oz and West Side Story, and there was a particularly memorable solo from Year 11 student, Faai in 'Oh Happy Day'.
After a small interval to allow for social distancing, the audience was brought to their seats by the 20th Century Fox theme tune, which set the scene for string quartet arrangements of major film scores such as Jurassic Park, Aladdin, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Schindler's List, Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
The Chamber music programme, which started in Term 1, has gone from strength to strength. It is lovely to observe the students' hard work and dedication and how quickly they have improved. After beginning with four, Shrewsbury now boasts six quartets. They have proudly named themselves Arco, La Squadra, Cuatro, String Thing, 40 Hours and Group 6 Quartet. Through this sense of identity and shared musical experiences, they are forging harmonious relationships that will consolidate their love of music for a lifetime.
The online version of 'A Night At The Movies' concert is available on our SHR YouTube channel. Please join us for our next show on Wednesday 9th June at 4 pm in the Recital Hall and our big event 'An American Promenade', on April 8th.