Bedales School’s Chamber Singers and Chamber Orchestra have enjoyed performing, and delighting large audiences, in many prestigious locations in the UK and Europe’s mainland. At the end of this term, it was decided to move the Spring Concert away from the school to give more Bedalian musicians the opportunity to perform in the magnificent acoustic of St Luke’s Church, Chelsea.
The First Orchestra opened the concert with a performance of Schubert VIII (first movement). In establishing a mood of powerful emotion, the orchestra gave the audience its first experience of the enormous acoustic. Gustav Holst’s little-known setting of Psalm 86 followed and demonstrated how well this great composer could create startling beauty out of even a single chord. In Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir the Chamber Singers displayed an astonishing stylistic awareness and vocal agility. The Barbershop Boys provided a contrast of genre, but not at all of ability, in arrangements of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and Africa. Operatic theatricality returned when Block 5’s (year 11) Olivia Brett and sixth formers Georgie Gulliver and David Thomas delivered a mature and moving performance of Soave sia il vento from Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. There was, now, just one final coup de théâtre before the concert ended. All available forces reassembled for three movements from Brahms’ massive German Requiem. This was conducted with commanding assurance by student assistant James Thomas. The captivating, bell-clear beauty of Olivia Brett’s interpretation of the soprano solo will live long in everyone’s memory.
Keith Budge, Headmaster Bedales Schools, commented:
“I am very grateful for the opportunity for our musicians to perform at St Luke’s, which provided such a wonderful setting. Director of Music, Nick Gleed’s young men and women give us a wonderful evening. It was quite something to move the whole event to London, adapt to a different acoustic and produce a concert of this ambition and quality. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
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Bedales School is one of the UK's top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students' views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.