Oakham Shakespeare Music Day

This week saw several String players and Form VII and VIII members of Chamber Choir travelling to Oakham School in Rutland for a Music day.

Having had a fantastic time last year performing music with a “Space Odyssey” theme we were delighted to return for this year’s “Shakespeare In Sound” theme to mark 2016 being the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

To kick start the day Beachborough and the other 10 visiting prep schools came together in the school chapel for a warm welcome from Oakham’s DofM, Peter Davis, before departing with the singers to The Great Hall of Oakham Castle, England’s most complete surviving Norman Hall (which made for a very interesting rehearsal space!). Mr Sanders would have loved it!!

The pieces for the day were specifically chosen for their links to Shakespeare. This included “When Daisies Pied” (Love’s Labour’s Lost), You Spotted Snakes  (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Our Revels Now Are Ended (The Tempest), It Was A Lover And His Lass (As You Like It) and Non Nobis, Domine (Henry V). Some of the music was quite challenging but, with our best Beachborough Growth Mindsets, we practised hard and managed to sing beautifully in 2,3 and 4 part harmony.

Our 6 string players, Guy, Ben, Dominic, Cameron, Larissa and Ned joined a vast string orchestra of about 50 children to play a varied repertoire. Firstly a “Love Theme” by Tchaikovsky (Romeo & Juliet) and “Dance of the Knights” from a ballet by Prokoviev, again inspired by Romeo & Juliet (more commonly known as the theme music from “The Apprentice”!!). They also performed a piece composed specifically for this occasion by DofM Peter Davies called “Play On!” inspired by The Witches in Macbeth. This was an interesting combination of pitched melodies and the spoken word.

After a delicious lunch, meeting pupils and staff from Oakham and other prep school and a couple more rehearsal sessions the day culminated in a concert for parents and friends in the school Chapel. The children were joined by Oakham’s Chamber Choir and Orchestra for the concert and we were treated to a performance of Vivaldi’s “Spring” from his famous Four Seasons. A resounding rendition of Non Nobis, Domine concluded an inspiring day.

Congratulations to all the musicians who took part and a special thanks to the parents for making the long journey to Oakham to support them. The children came away feeling enriched with a great sense of achievement.

A CD of the concert will be forwarded to us in due course, meanwhile, a video of “Non
Nobis, Domine” can be found on our Facebook page!

Report by Judith Dunkley