Taunton School Music Department completed an exceptional term of music making with a full performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man recently.
A full 60-piece professional orchestra along with 110 strong choir, consisting of singers from all parts of the school, performed with a 16ft video screen relaying the harrowing yet uplifting “mass for peace” in a triumphant and intensely moving performance.
The concert began with a rousing and virtuoso performance from the orchestra of Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, displaying the full orchestra in its very best form. From brass fanfare to rich strings, the piece fizzed with excitement, as was the composer’s intention.
This was followed by the two winners of the School’s internal concerto competition earlier in the term. Daniel Lloyd-Jones performed the first movement of the demanding Richard Strauss Oboe Concerto. Mark Cracknell, Director of Music at Taunton School said: “Daniel, who has been in the National Children’s Orchestra for many years and is currently studying his GCSEs in Year 11, showed impressive tone quality and maturity in his playing, working beautifully with the orchestral musicians.”
Ben Shattock, a Year 10 music scholar, played the first movement of Mozart’s tumultuous Piano Concerto in C Minor, No.24. Mark commented: “Ben also showed amazing maturity and a solid technique in this most musical of renditions. The orchestra played with real panache in a beautifully Mozartian accompaniment.”
The second half was where the choir showed their ability and, in conjunction with the full orchestra, 160 musicians performed with a professional clarity and wonderfully rich tone quality.
Mark recalled: “From the opening L’Homme Arme, the choir really grasped the meaning of the music and, with military precision, delivered the text with a unified and glorious choral sound. The piece truly moved the audience in the most profound way. This feeling was intensified by the fact that all the solos were sung by pupils, from Year 9 -12, giving a natural but high quality purity to the music and to the feelings it conjures up.”
The concert concluded with a poignant silence and the audience gave a long and rapturous standing ovation.
“The pupils of the school, as well as the whole school community, can be extremely proud of their accomplishment and indeed the other 30 public performance and events that they have undertaken musically this term.” added Mark.
The concert was free with a retiring collection for Music Man Project in Liverpool. More than £1100 was raised for the charity.