Ahoy! Ipswich School musicians take Snape by storm!

Ipswich School choirs and orchestras played up a storm at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall on Friday (9 May), including performing Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose by Alexander L’Estrange.

This performance fused traditional sea shanties with music from Tudor times – including Greensleeves and a hornpipe medley, along with original music featuring an arrangement of Full Fathom Five from Shakespeare’s The Tempest - and formed the second half of the evening’s entertainment. It also included a guest appearance by the composer himself on piano as part of the quintet accompanying the Ipswich School and Prep School choirs, who were joined by members of Year 7 and Ipswich School Choral Society, made up of parents, former parents, members of staff and friends from the community – dressed in nautical themed blue and white stripes for the occasion.

The concert was opened by the mass ranks of the school’s Symphony, Intermediate and Prep Orchestras, plus the Big Band, who played Miscellennium by the school’s own Director of Music, Andrew Leach.  The evening also featured the Chamber Orchestra, playing the premiere of a composition entitled Native for recorders and orchestra by Year 11 pupil Finn Collinson; the Preparatory School Orchestra and the Preparatory School Chamber Choir, plus the student-led Show Choir – singing a cappella versions of That Lonesome Road – originally made popular by James Taylor - and a traditional Zulu song Si Njay Njay Njay.  The first half of the concert was closed by the ever-popular Big Band, featuring a number of student soloists with a finale of the James Bond theme Skyfall, featuring Year 11 vocalist Freya Parry.

Nicholas Weaver, Headmaster at Ipswich School, said: “The whole evening was a great success and is testament to the hard work and hours of practice put in by both students and staff.  Fittingly, in Andrew Leach’s last Spring Concert before he retires as Director of Music, his tireless work in enthusing our musicians was celebrated with a standing ovation at the end of the night.”

Andrew Leach, Director of Music at Ipswich School, added: “It really was a magnificent concert and we had many kind words from members of the audience who had enjoyed the evening.  It was a real team effort to produce such a successful event, and I would like to thank all my colleagues in the Britten Faculty of Music for their work in supporting the pupils. I know the performers enjoyed it as much as the audience did.  I’m looking forward to next year’s event already – as a member of the audience though!”

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