Twelve of our Prep students were invited to attend a lunchtime concert given by the Open University choir on Thursday this week.
The programme included a specially commissioned piece to commemorate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday – A New Kind of Urban. The composer, Liz Lane, and the lyricist, Judi Moore were at the concert along with Mayor of Milton Keynes.
There were also some much older pieces in the programme, including a piece by Monteverdi who would be celebrating his 450th birthday this year.
The children enjoyed the concert and wanted to share their thoughts:
‘It was a privilege to go to the Open University because the music was inspiring.’ (Maya)
‘The brass was very good and had loud and soft parts.’ (Rohit)
‘The Open University made a brass ensemble and a choir to celebrate 50 years of Milton Keynes, it was very good.’ (Henry)
‘I found it really interesting to listen to a piece about where I live.’ (Damilola)
‘I really enjoyed the older piece by Monteverdi.’ (Alexander)
‘The brass instruments were awesome’ (Emily)
‘I liked the world premiere of ‘A New Kind of Urban’ because the music took you on a journey through MK.’ (Emily)
‘I loved the brass section and the choir, don’t forget the organ!’ (Carolina)
‘My favourite parts were the trombones and the drums.’ (Ryan)
This November’s concert was another delightful journey through an extravagance of music and drama. Barnaby got proceedings of to a wonderfully rhythmical start. His ‘Train ride’ piano piece took us all the way to Emily Ying Clifton’s joyfully and sparkling played piano piece, ‘Allegretto.’Anvi Mulik and Siya Patel made a very strange choice to go ‘Ghost Hunting’ as a speech and drama pair and Jonathan Pugsley made the piano sound just like Westminster Chimes.
Autumn Pimm actually was Alice in Wonderland! She told us colourfully about her first encounter with the White Rabbit. ‘Mysterious Procession’ played with lovely tone was next on our journey, Dimitri Korontzis listening carefully as he performed. Arjun Sohal scared us with his poem about a ‘Tarantula’, thank goodness we only had to worry about farm animals as Shreyan Kothari played ‘Old MaDonald’ with his careful touch.
Hana Iguchi’s violin piece was another very dramatic encounter played with rich and spicy tones and drama filled chords. Nicole Villamarin found a ‘Buzzy Bee’ in the piano and Georgia Taylor sang so sweetly that the hall was filled with birds. She performed ‘Feed The Birds’ from Mary Poppins, what a treat!
Next came the most alarming moment of the concert, Olivia Sobera recited ‘Vampire’ with a far too authentic Transylvanian accent for my liking! Fortunately, all was well at the end of that and Summer O’Kane was able to play ‘There was a Crocked Man’ safely on the piano. Freddie Lancaster managed to throw ‘Spaghetti’ everywhere, well not literally, but it was very well delivered!
Soon we were travelling passed ‘Blue Birds’ played by Amaya Saiz-Arthur, ‘Lonely Pines’ by Advik Mishra and being reminded of summer bedtime by the speech and drama duo Emily Pugsley and Chloe Chan. I think they had safely woken up by the time Matthew Coomber frightened us all again with another spider, ‘Tarantula’. At least the elephants were well trained as Layla Crew played them a piece to dance their Waltz to and Emily Garwood’s cello piece ‘Peanut Vendor’ kept us all entertained with its swing rhythm and cheeky tune.
Elie Reeson played her piano piece ‘Skip to my Lou’ with a beautiful ringing sound and Chiemenem Iwuagwu loved to show off her amazing ability to ‘Swing through the Trees’ and play the piano at the same time. I wish Rushita Bhatta’s beautiful song ‘Omens of Spring’ really did take us all there, but that would have meant missing Rohit Rajaraman’s excellent redition of ‘Praembulum’ cleverly played to remind us all of Bach and of course we wouldn’t have wanted to miss Christmas!
Thank you for the fabulous ride everyone!
On Thursday 5th October we held our first lunchtime concert of the year. We were treated to a wide range of performance from our students having Music and Speech and Drama Lessons.
The concert started with Alice Alder playing a lovely little piano piece called Hair. Freddie Lancaster followed this with The Bugle Boys, again on the piano. Shaan Sanghera then had us on the edge of our seats with his recital of Stripey Tiger.
Greer McCaffrey’s lovely performance of the Potato Song on the piano was followed by 2 Spanish pieces. Ife Adekanmbi played a Spanish Dance on her guitar and Alexander Chan played Spanish Cabellero on the piano.
A trio of boys (Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio, Daniel Nunez Montanola and Kyle Dissanayake) raised a laugh from the audience with their rendition of ‘Yuck’ followed by a delightful performance of Feed the Birds’ by Barnaby Davison.
Patrick Kinsman picked up the pace of things with The Juggler on the piano, followed by Katie’s Waltz on the violin by Eleanor Yeomans. Iraa Kulkarni then treated us to a stylish Allegretto on the piano.
Ewa Adekanmbi played Song of the mountain on her guitar before Bhavish Rao scared a few of us with his poem about a Tarantula. Kylie Dissanayake was next on the piano with The Farmer followed by Oyin Omotosho with Bluebird.
We were taken back in time by Harini Sivavakeesar with a lovely version of the song Good Morrow. This was followed by Anvi Mulik in her first lunchtime concert, playing Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano.
Next on the piano was Abigail Evans with Airplanes followed by Jacob Okwuadigbo reciting the Sock Song. Thomas Huggins gave a wonderful performance of a Theme and Variations on his guitar before Lilian Goodman scared us all at the piano with Monster!
Daniel Jemeljanenko gave a very expressive recital of the Cat’s Protection League and Sophia Shaikh delivered an eloquent performance of the World’s Worst Children.
Hana Iguchi showed us her skills on the piano with a tricky piece called clowns and the concert was brought to a close by Iraa Kulkarni who gave a very dramatic performance of Where My Wellies Take Me.
A wonderful concert, I an already looking forward to the next one.
Our lunchtime concert was packed full of stories this month. The children sharing their Speech and Drama poems and excerpts told us many. Tales of scary snakes, (delivered with intensity by Sophia Shaikh), of herbaceous pods and beaches, (clearly spoken and with great timing by Freddie Lancaster and Dimitri Korontzis), and of Father’s Day cards and beautiful new days, (excellently performed by Autumn Pim and Samara Saanvi). Suspense filled stories like ‘Mrs Mather’ kept us on the edge of our seats, (performed by Maya Shah), and a lovely rendition from ‘Little Women’ read by Emily Ying-Clifton that made some of the older audience members want to read the whole story again.
Stories can be told by music too. We heard the gorgeous tune of a waltz singing out over the top of a beautiful left hand accompaniment played by Emily Garwood and the ringing tones of a twinkling star played by Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio on his guitar. Barnaby Davison’s ‘Cheeky Monkey’ was very playful on his violin and Thomas Huggin’s ‘Saints’ were brilliant at marching in time. Damilola Omotosho showed us some real ‘Attitude’ at the piano and Joseph Imonioro’s clarinet playing ‘Guinea pigs’ were marching almost more in time than the saints.
The cutest story told was Kylie Dissanayake’s, she is so small she needed to climb on to the stool to play us those famous Big Ben chimes. Well done to everyone for another delightful concert, especially to those I haven’t mentioned, you were all so good at your very special storytelling.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this half term’s lunchtime concert. We were treated to some very accomplished performances. The children, without exception, can be proud of their respectful attitude during the concert itself and was also present when they were warming up and tuning up beforehand. Everyone helped their fellow performer to rehearse and those who were new to the whole process were made to feel part of the team.
One or two performances need a special mention here. Joseph Imonioro played ‘Ode to Joy’ on his clarinet. It was great to hear how well he is doing, especially in his first concert and he made no mistakes, squeaks or fluffs and tongued each note brilliantly. Rohit Rajaraman played a superb piece called ’Dwarfs of the Mist’. He played the fast running semiquavers clearly and made them sound menacing. The chordal sections in the piece really evoked a threatening atmosphere and reminded us of The Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg. Anas Mehrez conjured up his own atmosphere as he read us part of the book ‘Boy’ by Roald Dahl. The wonderful expression he used to tell the story made us all want to listen to the rest of the book. But sadly the concert was over far too soon and I suppose we did need to have our lunch!
Well done everyone. Keep up the good work!
This year’s evening concert was a triumph. The pupils played a fabulous variety of pieces with great character and style.
Alexander Chan’s piano piece ‘Whirling Leaves’ was very effective. He used the pedal and quick light fingers to bring the leaves to life. Elizabeth Valolch’s piano piece ‘Allegro’ was bright and strongly rhythmical.
The jazzy pieces we were treated to were rhythmical too. Tiya Mistry played a mean ‘Moody Prawn Blues’, Khush Shah played a cool ‘Take Five’ on the violin and Alexander Etuk’s ‘All Night, All Day’ sounded chilled on the trumpet.
Ananya Rastogi’s piece ‘Cantabile’ had some lovely decoration in, she played the trills very well and Emily Ying-Clifton’s ‘German Dance’ was light and full of fun too. Harini Sivavakeesar’s little ‘Calypso’ had us all moving to its catchy beat.
The Bartok violin duets played by Agata Garban and Mrs Hodges had great energy and playfulness and Agata performed ‘Preludio’ with moments of great musicality.
Abbie North sang a song from the musical Wicked. Her performance, singing and stage presence were brilliant. Another sparkling performance was given by Emily Garwood. Her playing of ‘Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum’ from Debussy’s Children’s Corner amazed us as she flew around the piano.
Hana Iguchi’s violin piece ‘Entracte’ from Rosamunde had poise and musicality. Elizabeth Gross played and sang ‘Read all about it’ with intensity and Iraa Kulkarni sang ‘Twilight’ beautifully using long phrases that need careful breath control.
Rohan Appikatla played ‘Ode to Joy’ with a gorgeous tone on his new guitar whilst Nina Lorenz bravely shared two pieces ‘Minuet in G’ and ‘Moon River.’
Three young pianists that all play with delightful clarity and joy were Anchal Garg, Alexa Berkin-Evans and Mariam Elakama. I look forward to hearing them play again.
Miss Haig and Miss Jovic rounded the concert off beautifully. They performed ‘Lullaby for Princess Charlotte’, one of two songs that Miss Haig has recorded especially for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Thank you to all who performed and to our wonderful and extremely appreciative audience.
This November’s concert was so full of atmosphere that we even had a massive rain storm half way through. I can’t remember if it was when Mariam Elakama was inviting us to go and catch a ‘Monster’ with her or if it was when Sophia Shaikh was reciting her poem about a ‘Haunted House.’ We survived all the scariness, even Elijah Martey's ‘Vampire’ and had a wonderful time listening to many excellent performances.
Samarth Natesh's folk song ‘Come My Lads’ was bang in tune with the most amazing high notes and Gustav Otto Lorenz’s piano piece ‘Old MacDonald’ was beautifully in time. Mikayla Martey’s ‘Ballet lesson’ poem was hilarious, she performed it so well that we believed every word. It was lovely to hear Abigail Ogundeji play the piano and recite her poem; great for her first lunchtime concert.
The chamber group played really well. It was a great pleasure to have Emily Garwood on the piano and Alexander Lee back on cello.
We can be very proud of the children at The Grove who not only have very busy days at school but also have the energy and dedication to practise their instruments and poems at home. Well done and congratulations to all who took part. You are awesome!
This half term’s lunchtime concert was thoroughly enjoyable. The audience was very respectful and the performers were too, bowing carefully in response to the applause that they so richly deserved.
Our speech and drama girls were wonderful. Tiya Mistry's poem about ballet lessons reminded me of pictures taken of me when I was four in my ballet kit with massive plasters on my knees. Alice Alder's poem was very clever, it helped to imagine that cars are like tigers and buses could be elephants, she recited ‘City Jungle’ very imaginatively. Iraa Kulkarni is an excellent story teller and her diction is always so clear, her ‘Midnight in the Classroom’ was very evocatively portrayed.
Our musicians played very well. I can’t mention everyone who played but I can tell you about a few performances. Eve Bailey’s piano piece ‘Boating Lake’ had a lovely singing tune and Emily Ying-Clifton’s piano piece ‘Menuet’ was played with beautifully flowing phrases. Ewa Adekanmbi’s piece ‘See the parade’ had great rhythmical strength and Alexander Chan’s ‘Professor Umbride’ showed how you can play staccato notes on the piano to great dramatic effect.
Harini Sivavakeesar was busy. She sang ‘Rainbow’ beautifully and also treated us to an atmospheric piano piece in a minor key called ‘El Cant Dels Ocells’. The two violinists Barnaby Davison and Hana Iguchi where excellent and we even had some ‘Blues’ on the piano from Rohit Rajaraman.
Well done everyone and keep practising.
This was the ‘Buy One Get One Free’ concert extraordinaire!
35 children took part! (Meaning we did over run by about a quarter of an hour but that didn’t matter). Obviously it would be impossible to mention everyone in this article but I will tell you about a few.
Brass group played for the first time, their ‘Blow in Blues’ sounded great, we look forward to hearing more from you boys. Mr Welch kindly came and played a duet with Emily Corlett which was a lovely arrangement of the Skye Boat Song.
I can remember when we never ever had any solo singing in our concerts, well not unless it was part of a choir number, this time we were treated to four very different songs sung beautifully by Iraa, Samarth, Danielle and Zadie.
Alexander Lee played Allegro with aplomb, Olivia Sobera and Luluwah gave us great amusement with their poem ‘Ballet Lesson’, and the Khiani brothers both took to the stage to say their poems, Akaash also played the piano for the first time in front of our very respectful audience.
Fourteen pianists played, which I think must be a record. Miles Conway performed the piano piece ‘Apple Pie Waltz’ and deserves the prize for most improved player. Oh sorry, I’ve forgotten that music isn’t a sport, still I do think it’s wonderful to see that people are practising hard. Remember every time you play we can hear if you are good practisers by the way you sound confident and skilled, musical and able to communicate the story of your piece to the audience.
A big thank you goes to all who took part. We may need to start having more concerts to fit you all in!
Keep on practising!
This year’s Easter service started with a celebration of all things Springy!
The ‘Season of Singing’, our first song, summed up how we all feel about spring brilliantly, especially as the Prep children sound so tuneful when they sing together. The Foundation children sang a wonderful song about five shiny eggs. It was fun to count the chicks as they hatched. Then the Pre-Prep had their turn, reading their poem and singing their song all about the animals waking up after their long Winter sleep. They also sang with great performance quality.
I love the jazzy song March, April, May and was glad that it fitted in nicely to this year’s service. One or two of us had to pretend that we can click both our fingers!
It is always good to allow the Mums and Dads a chance to sing with us. We can’t have them feeling left out. They were encouraged to join in with our hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’. This is a song that uses a traditional American Shaker folk tune. The Chamber Group played their recorders to accompany this hymn, their music was learnt in less than a week! They begged me to allow them to learn it. Well done, what a team!
The Easter Story was then retold with members of Senior Prep as the characters. They did extremely well as they only had a short time to rehearse. This effective and moving play took us from Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday through to His death on the cross on Good Friday and then on to His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. Injila Ocal as Judas and Lauren Hawkins as Peter both sang their solos with great feeling and Danielle Trzeciak-Hicks captured the strength of Jesus’ character, being both gentle and strong at the same time. Well done to all the actors who took part, your contribution was much appreciated even if you had no words to say.
Once again the children thoroughly enjoyed performing, singing and playing. This was a wonderful end to a very busy, but rewarding term at The Grove.