Posts Tagged ‘Jazz Band’

Review of The King’s School Ely’s Charity Concert on Friday 15th November in the Hayward Theatre

November 17, 2013

The King’s School Ely’s Charity Concert on Friday 15th November in the Hayward Theatre was another crowning success for this excellent school. The Hayward Theatre was packed with performers and tickets were soon sold out.

The programme featured many of their well-known performers: the Concert Band, a Percussion Ensemble, the Minstrels, Brass Ensembles, the King’s Barbers, the Jazz Band, Spikes Cello group and King’s Ely Orchestra.

The larger groups provided some real highlights: the Concert Band, the Jazz Band, and the King’s School Ely Orchestra. The King’s Barbers (directed by Peter North) also gave an outstanding performance.

The Concert Band opened the concert and as the first notes were struck the wow factor was immediately apparent. The Director, Michel Sedgwick, really knows how to inspire his students to engage effectively with powerful and exciting rhythms. ‘All the Best’ by Otto M. Schwartz was played with precision and musicality, and the empathy between the sections was particularly noticeable.  Dave Brubeck’s fascinating rhythms were brought alive in ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk ‘arranged by Stephen Schwalgin while ‘Tom Jones in Concert’ led us through a delightful medley of his well-known songs which were played with the same suave sensuality that we associate with the singer.

Julian Landymore, another vital director, this time of the Jazz Band, moulded the group into an amazingly cohesive phenomenon that gelled perfectly the easy smooth sounds and ‘natural’ off beat rhythms.   The pieces were well chosen: Duke Ellington’s ‘Satin Doll’ arranged by Bob Lowden, ‘Just Before Midnight’ by Howard Rowe, and ‘Cosy Toes’ by Lenny Niehaus.

The King’s School Ely orchestra, conducted by Martin Leigh, gave one of the best performances I have heard this orchestra give. The first movement of Beethoven’s first symphony was a classic choice and performance in all sense of the word, with the orchestra reaching a much higher standard than expected of any ‘school’ orchestra.

The remaining items were also delightful and helped to make this concert yet another highly successful event at the beginning of the school year.

The two charities the school is supporting, The Old Dispensary in Ely and Food Bank were able to express their thanks with short speeches by representatives of these organizations at the end of the concert.

Future events by the King’s School:

Thursday 21 November 1310 Ely Cathedral lunchtime Live Concert

Friday 22 November 1730 Ely Cathedral King’s Ely Chapel Choir sings Evensong

Tuesday 26 November 1400 Recital Hall Trumpet masterclass Paul Archibald

Friday 29 November 1930 Recital Hall King’s Ely Concert Society Anthony Brown and Leo Nicholson (saxophone and piano)

Wednesday 4 December – Saturday 7 December 1930 Hayward Theatre Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Friday 13 December 1100 Ely Cathedral King’s Ely Carol Service

For more information contact: Lisa Bushell (01353 653931 email:


Review of the King’s School Ely Charity Concert on 2nd December in the Hayward Theatre, Ely.

December 2, 2011

Well, they have done it again. The King’s School Ely, while functioning ‘normally’ as a busy school in a winter term, has managed to pull out all the stops and present a full and entertaining programme in their Charity Concert tonight.

To a packed audience in the Hayward Theatre, a host of groups took their turn to provide some top notch musical entertainment.

The event opened with a masterful fanfare from the brass ensemble: ‘Fanfare for the Lord Mayor of London’ by Bliss, followed by three varied pieces by the Concert Band. ‘I Got Rhythm’ by Gershwin was particularly well played with ‘The Witches’ Sabbath’ by Puccini and ‘A tribute to Michael Jackson’  maintaining interest with some grand sit-up-and-notice moments.

The precision and charming harmonies by Voicexchange enhanced their performances of ‘One Singular Sensation from ‘A Chorus Line’ arranged by Arch and ‘Nobody Knows the trouble I’ve seen’, a spiritual arranged by Chilcott.

The listeners were wowed before the interval with a toe tapping ‘Orange Sherbert’ by Nestico, a gorgeous schmaltzy ‘The Christmas Song’ by Tormé and Wells and a forthright ‘Alianza’ by Morales.

The Brass Ensemble began the second half with a grand performance of Clarke’s ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ followed by a very attractive ‘Santa Baby’ by Jivets and Springer arranged by Maxwell. It was at this point in the evening that one could not help noticing CJ Porter-Thaw of ‘The Choirboys’ fame a number of years ago. His solo trumpet playing was excellent.

The King’s Barbers presented a number of pieces in effective harmony. This large group managed some most tricky entries, and challenging part-singing and movements with ease.

One of the highlights of the evening was undoubtedly ‘Pikes Cello Group’ playing ‘DMO for Cello Quartet’ by Atwell. This was far from one of those open-stringed nice little pieces for school performers. This group mastered very attractive, sophisticated harmonies beautifully.

The Chamber Choir livened events with their part song  ‘Ev’ry time I feel the spirit’ arranged by Chilcott and the culmination of the evening was the grand performance by the Senior Orchestra playing ‘Farandole’ from ‘L’Arlesienne Suite no 2’ by Bizet and the entertaining ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ featuring Charles (CJ) Porter-Thaw, Elric Doswell and Mark Parry.

Ian Sutcliffe, Director of Music, then announced a final surprise. The audience was invited to close their eyes and then, when asked to open them again, lo and behold, the entire orchestra (or over 60 members) had dressed themselves in Santa hats. Complete with falling snow, sleigh bells and the sound of horses ‘hooves, the orchestra let its hair down and played ‘Sleigh ride’.

This had obviously been a highly successful event as a number of members of the audience were caught whistling the tune from ‘Sleigh Ride’ as they left the theatre.

The proceeds from the concert will be given to the ‘Old Dispensary’ in Ely. – a tradition that has been established over a number of years.

Rosemary Westwell