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News > School News > Summer Festival of Music 2023

Summer Festival of Music 2023

The Senior Hall was transformed into Ronnie Scott's on Wednesday evening for a spectacular celebration of music at FHS

On Wednesday evening, we had a great extravaganza of music as the students proved that FHS not only excels at performing classical music, but also pop, rock and jazz.

The evening began with drinks in the playground, while members of the rapidly growing Jazz Vocal Group serenaded the parents and staff with jazz and pop standards such as Summertime, Cry Me A River, and Valerie. This was an excellent opportunity for the girls to show off their voices and experience the life of a jazz singer.

The Senior Hall was an assembly hall no longer and was transformed instead into something that resembled the famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar, with round tables and menu programmes for the parents, and a dazzling light show and smoke machines (courtesy of Mr Benji Page).

The concert began with a video demonstration of the Year 7 instrumental scheme where they all played Uptown Funk, having only learnt either the trumpet or trombone since January. Very impressive indeed! Orchestra followed this with a gorgeous arrangement of Moon River, featuring some excellent solos by Amaliya Abdulkerimova, Sophia Fischer-Appelt Bauen and Tabby Leaver. In contrast, Miss Smith and her Senior Strings played a brilliant rendition of Bad Romance. I have to say, Lady Gaga played on strings is almost as good as the original version!

Lower School Choir sang I Love My Life, which was enthusiastically conducted by Mr Mercer and featured several Year 7s and 8s signing in Makaton at the front, with the whole choir joining in with the signing during the choruses. This display of nearly 100 girls singing and signing was filled with great poignancy and was lovely to watch.

Senior Chamber Choir’s rendition of California Dreamin’ was something to behold and had lots of musical drama. Though it was very different to the original Mamas and Papas performance, it was stunning to listen to, especially the big four-part chord on ‘such a winter’s day’. Those of you who were there will know exactly which part I mean!

Jazz Vocal Group featured once again and finished with a great dance number, Shut Up and Dance With Me, which almost had the audience on their feet dancing and singing along!

If you think that this concert only featured students, you would be incorrect as Staff Flute Choir and Staff Choir performed next with the nostalgic and tear-jerking Married Life from the film, Up, and Mack The Knife, respectively. The Staff Choir swayed and sung with great enthusiasm, although I’m pretty sure Mrs Elphinstone outsang them all with her unrivalled passion! This, of course, was met with rapturous applause and support, especially from the students!

Our only solo of the evening, Amelia Aitken, performed Both Sides Now, a beautiful and sad song from the movie, Coda. The song features in the film as the young protagonist, the only hearing person in her household, sings and signs a tearful song about growing up to her family. I’m sure many members in the audience shed many a tear during Amelia’s gorgeous rendition.

The final three items were brilliant finales to the concert, with Lower Chamber Choir singing a fantastic song from Sister Act, Hail Holy Queen, full of dancing and clapping, and featuring Miss Houlder on the Cajon! Senior Choir followed with a fabulous ABBA medley, which continued the trend of enthusiastic choreography. The final song, The Winner Takes It All, was a dedication to Mrs Elphinstone’s rockeoke performance last year, and we managed to make her shed a tear or two! Band finished the concert with Don’t Stop Me Now and 9 to 5, featuring solos from Sabrina Fleury and Lucia Cook.

Just when the audience were thinking it was all over and Mrs Elphinstone came up to do her speech in the end, she was interrupted with a surprise rendition from every student in the concert singing Simply The Best by Tina Turner. What a glorious and wonderful concert, full of love and dedication to Mrs Elphinstone!

Miss Gajic Murata, Composer-In-Residence



Summer Festival of Music

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