International Women’s Day celebrated through music

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Millfield Music School hosted a dynamic concert featuring music composed only by women to celebrate International Women’s Day. The performances featured a variety of solo and ensemble items and included recorded music as well as live performances, and an interview with Cecilia McDowell – one of the country’s most notable composers.

The first half began with contrasting works for voice and piano: Business Girls by Madeleine Dring and Mignonne by Cécile Chaminade performed admirably by Kitty Chapple (Year 11) and Maddie Calvesbert-Sharp (Year 10) respectively. A superbly controlled performance of Summer Evening at Bryanstone by Alma Goatley came next, performed by clarinettist Jevon Hughes (Year 10). The fourth performer to our stage was vocalist Imogen Scott-Carter (Year 10), who provided a light and beautiful interpretation of Pauline Viardot’s Les Deux roses. Following this was a recording of Bath Camerata, who Music Teacher Mrs Kirsty Barry sings with, performing Cecilia McDowell’s Standing as I Do, which took place at Millfield.

Next up was Year 10 flautist Tosca Mendes, performing a colourful rendition of A Russian Encounter also by Cecilia McDowell. The first half ended with three ensemble items: the first of which was First Spring, a work written for wind trio by oboe teacher Jane Finch, and brought to life by Emily Bradshaw (clarinet) (Year 10), Maddie Calvesbert-Sharp (flute) (Year 10) and Jo Maddock (oboe) (Year 10); the second was Lili Boulanger’s Les Sirènes. This piece is a set work for AS music and was performed sublimely by soprano soloist and vocal teacher Ms Eloise Routledge, pupils from the AS music class and junior choir, Mr Jon Boyle on piano and was directed by Mrs Kirsty Barry.  A percussion duet A Little Prayer by Evelyn Glennie performed by Rosa Launder (Year 10) and Mr Jeremy Little, rounded off the part one of the concert.

The percussion ensemble began the second half with an energetic performance of Kandis Taylor’s No Me Digas! (Don’t Tell Me!). Solo and emsemble harp followed with Merch Megan arranged by Olivia Dussek, Beltan Dance by Martinz and Baroque Flamenco by Deborah Henson-Conant. Upper Sixth pupil, Isabelle Barber then performed Nunc Dimitis from her A Level portfolio. Next up was a lively performance by Felix Sissins-Roffey (oboe) (Year 9)  of Scherzo Rondoso by Diana Keech. Returning to the world of vocal music, Lower Sixth pupil Tabitha Veitch treated us to a stirring performance of Rebecca Clarice’s Shy One. Maria Theresia von Paradis’s Sicilenne was next to be performed, in sensitive style, by clarinettist Emily Bradshaw and accompanist Juliet Grogan Poulsen (Upper Sixth). Our penultimate performer was Upper Sixth vocalist Florence Lunnon, who treated us to two works Under the Greenwood Tree and Take O Take Those Lips Away by Madeleine Dring. To round-off an evening of music uniquely by female composers was the Millfield Four performing Carole King’s well-known and much-loved You’ve Got a Friend.

View photos here.