Peri Performances and All That Jazz

Teresa Henderson reviews two recent concerts.

Jazz from the House Band  

On a Thursday evening in May, just before the half-term exodus, a selection of musicians came together for a wonderful evening of jazz solos and small ensembles, all backed by the fabulous House Band; Chuff and Mr Reeves on the piano, Mr Frampton on double bass, Mr Hough on guitar and Mr Mullowney on drum kit.

The children performed a selection of well known songs such as Fly Me to the Moon in an arrangement for saxophone (Rupert Balmain) and trombone (Patrick Hall), almost familiar sounding songs like A Blackbird Sang in Albert Square, played by Flora Smyth-Osbourne on clarinet, as well as classics such as Cry Me A River, sung as it should be by Claudia Acker.

Some of the youngest performers made their debuts in small ensembles, Year 5 boys Hugo Bishop and Finn Buchanan playing their saxophones in Tequila with George Betton on trumpet, and Alice Laird, also in Year 5, with her beautiful solo performance of The Shadow of Your Smile on clarinet. The evening was brought to a close with a rousing rendition of the C Jam Blues with all instrumental players up on stage for a toe-tapping final number!

With special thanks to the House Band for their expert backing, and to all the performers on the night.

Peripatetic Staff Charity Concert

An idea born way back during the autumn term came to fruition, for one night only, when a number of Farleigh’s peripatetic music staff put themselves in their pupils’ shoes, and took to the stage to perform a charity concert on instruments they had been learning for just a few months, some only a few weeks, as soloists, duettists and ensembles.

The brave performers entertained their fantastic audience with a variety show to keep them chuckling throughout the evening and revealed sides to their characters not normally seen. Memorable moments were Mr Bolland’s jazz piano solo, complete with dramatic pauses, the unusual drum accompaniment Mrs Rockhill provided for A Million Dreams played by Mr Reeves on guitar and Mr Hough on double bass, as well as several solos which ended as vocal numbers due to instrument malfunctions. 

Everyone was certainly taken aback by the volume of sound made by the brass ensemble, possibly more impressed with the quality of sound produced by the string group, and then joined in the singing during the grand finale of This is the Way to Amarillo played by the massed band. Cries for an encore surprised the players who were unprepared for such enthusiastic appreciation of their efforts! 

Very special thanks go to Mrs Rockhill for her original idea, Mrs Hickson for putting the whole evening together, Mr Bolland for teaching so many of the staff and organising the music, all the peripatetic staff who took up the challenge, and to Mr Reeves for running with the idea. The biggest thanks go to the truly fabulous audience who came to support the staff and the charities. We hope they enjoyed this unique evening and we are very grateful for the £300 raised which will be split between Andover Mind and The Brain Tumour Charity.