Impressions - An Evening of French Music

The first formal concert of the year was held last Friday: Impressions - An Evening of French Music.

Farleigh's peripatetic music teachers took up the challenge of selecting music composed by French nationals, titled with a French name, or somehow connected with La Belle France. The result was a wonderfully entertaining evening of performances by children from Years 3 to 8. 

The opening number, a beautiful rendition of La Mer in its native language, by Claudia in Year 7, set the tone. Further talented singers took to the stage and the audience was treated to solos from Martha, Minty and Romy (Year 8) and Isla (Year 7), whilst Year 8 members of the Chapel Choir (Charlie, Daisy B, Daisy C, Flori, Henry, Jack, Jemima, Kitty, Leonora, Martha, Minty and Polly) sang excerpts from Fauré's Requiem and César Franck's Panis Angelicus.

Instrumentalists came in all ages and combinations, from piano soloists Emily I and Emily M, to the smallest of performers, Maya, Amelie and Olivia in Year 3, playing traditional French melodies as duets on the violin and piano. Flutes were well represented by a Year 5 trio of Emily, Charlotte and Isobel playing a waltz from La Belle Hélène by Carmen, while solo flautist Xanthe was expertly accompanied on the piano by Benedict in Gounod’s Ave Maria.

The penultimate number of this first Autumn Concert was the aptly named Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves), played by jazz band Five Foot Six (Charlie, Flora, Jack, Joss, Ralph and Saffron). This was followed by a fabulous grand finale, Les Poissons, performed by Jasmine in Year 6, which left everyone chuckling!

One grandmother in the audience was overheard saying, "I simply loved every moment and the standard was incredibly high. I particularly enjoyed the little pianist whose legs were not long enough to reach the pedals!"

A very big ‘thank you’ to all the music staff who prepared the children, and to the accompanists on the night, Chuff Byrne, Clare Minting, Marcus Reeves and Katherine Rockhill. Thanks also to Monsieur Kennard who kindly lent a flavour of France to the Music School from his form room for the occasion.

Performers: Claudia Acker, Emily Balmain, Charlotte Barr, Maya Benson, Martha Bingley, Ralph Boldt, Daisy Butterworth, Charlie Burtt, Polly Chamberlin, Romy Coulton,  Daisy Cullinan, Flori Gardner, Jack Hall-Smith, Amelie Henderson,  Xanthe Henderson, Emily Illingworth, Leo Liversedge, Emily Macdonald, Isobel Macintosh, Kitty Millar, Flora Smyth-Osbourne, Joss Palmer, Jasmine Pearson, Minty Rawlins, Olivia St George, Henry Strong, Saffron Turner, Jemima Weston, Benedict Whitehead, Isla Young.

Teresa Henderson