A Fishy Tale...

Farleigh's Music Department is lucky to receive an annual invitation to Downe House's themed Orchestral Fun Day for Prep Schools, a real highlight of the Prep School music calendar. Last Thursday 15 girls in Years 5 to 7 set off from Farleigh armed with their instruments, ready for a day of Under The Sea Adventure!

On arrival we were greeted by Dr Dolphin (aka Dr Exon, Music Director) and various other members of her fishy team. Floating Nemos bobbed above the sea of music stands in the performance hall as we waited for the other Prep Schools to arrive, there was no doubt that the theme was being taken very seriously indeed!

Although there were nearly 20 Prep Schools in attendance, the day ran beautifully smoothly, a feat of organisation, and the children were kept occupied in full orchestral rehearsals as well as sectionals where they really got to grips with the music they were due to perform to parents later. Everyone was well fed (on fish and chips of course!) and watered (no rum in sight!), and by the time parents had arrived for tea they were ready to demonstrate all they had learnt during the day.

The audience was treated to a polished performance of several water themed pieces: Land Ahoy!, composed by one of Downe House's Music Staff, Christian Alexander, Handel's Water Music played by the Strings, and Wind of the Waves played by the Concert Band. As is the custom, the Prep Schools were joined for the concert by Downe House's impressive Symphony Orchestra who sat amongst the children and boosted the sound for the performance. A sea themed concert would not be complete without an excerpt from the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean, the Symphony Orchestra did not disappoint! The grand finale of Under The Sea played by the massed orchestra of over 200 children brought the day to a close.

Our thanks go to Dr Exon and her team at Downe House for hosting this wonderful event, and a big thank you to Oli Parker who accompanied us on the trip and kept the brass section in shape!


Teresa Henderson