The boys from the Big Band eagerly set off to The Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday afternoon to perform as part of the Regional Festival of Music for Youth. One of seven groups performing throughout the afternoon, our boys were treated to a variety of superb bands and choirs from all over London to listen to before taking to the stage themselves.
The boys set themselves up under the bright lights of the Clore Ballroom to present their programme to two very experienced and knowledgeable adjudicators as well as a large and supportive audience. After a short introduction from our pianist, the boys counted themselves in and subsequently wowed the entire audience from the first note to the very last. The programme of Rose Royce’s ‘Car Wash’, Joseph Zawinul’s ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’ and the band’s favourite blues; ‘Louie, Louie’ set feet a tapping and jaws dropping, when it became apparent that the boys were not only playing with no adult direction but also no sheet music at all. The confident and energetic improvised solos from all sections and year groups of the band along with the choreography topped it all off stylishly and with a professional sparkle most senior school bands would be most envious of.
“Excellent start – phenomenal sense of ensemble…” “Awesome sound. I love the fact that you’re playing without stands – it lets you focus, listen to each other and connect with the audience”…were just some of the comments from the adjudicators.
The boys and staff, left the ballroom buzzing and feeling, most deservedly, proud of their performance.