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Posted: 25.04.16

475Th Anniversary Celebrations At The Royal Welsh College Of Music &Amp; Drama

OVER 130 PUPILS AND STAFF SPENT FRIDAY AT THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DRAMA IN CARDIFF AS THEY PREPARED FOR FRIDAY EVENING’S GALA CONCERT TO CELEBRATE CHRIST COLLEGE’S 475TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR.

On Friday 22nd April 2016 musicians from the Christ College community took to the stage of the Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

The concert was held to help celebrate the 475th Anniversary year of the school’s founding by Henry VIII in 1541. The musical programme for the evening reflected the breadth and depth of musical talent at the school whilst also making explicit links with the music that existed during the time of our founder, Henry VIII.

The concert’s first half consisted of a performance of ‘Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose’, composed by Alexander L’Estrange and is a cantata for SATB chorus, unison children’s choir and five-piece band. This included Greensleeves which, if not actually written by Henry VIII, certainly has very strong associations, and two other Tudor songs which probably were by the King. The sea shanties include the Sailors’ Hornpipe, where the audience can joined in by clapping and bobbing along with the singers, and beautiful folk songs, O Waly Waly, otherwise known as The Water is Wide.

The enthusiastic and spirited performance invovled the children of St Nicholas House, the Chapel Choir and adult members of the extended Christ College community including the Brecon Singers and a haunting solo performance by Year 10 Soprano, Phoebe, in Full Fathom Five.

The second half saw the Welsh Sinfonia, who work with Christ College pupils as part of the Crescendo Project, take the stage to perform A Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance. The school’s Chamber Choir took to the stage several time during the second half to perform ‘Fly me to the Moon’, ‘And so it goes’ and Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm’.

Two violinists, Nicky and Gwen, performed Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, 1st mvt with the school’s String Orchestra. Gwen was then amongst several strings’ musicians who then joined Old Breconian classical guitarist, Adam Khan, as he performed Giuliani’s Concerto No. 1 for Guitar, 2nd mvt.

One of the solo performances of the evening saw Upper Sixth Baritone, Trystan, perform Gounod’s Avant de quitter ces lieux, accompanied by the Welsh Sinfonia conducted by Mark Eager. Trystan’s accomplished and moving performance saw the audience rise for a standing ovation and had his mum in tears!

An incredible evening of music was rounded off with the Welsh Sinfonia and Mark Eager take the stage with Christ College musicians to perform Saint-Saëns The Carnival of Animals.

It was a wonderful experience for so many boys and girls to perform at such a great venue, alongside professional musicians and to a packed audience. Music continues to thrive at Christ College and add to and enhance the rounded learning experience our boys and girls enjoy every day.

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