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Choir leads Festival success

A sold out audience singing and clapping to ‘Oh Happy Day’ was just one of the highlights of this year’s Ipswich School Festival of Music.

The Saturday night concert by the London Community Gospel Choir finished with that traditional Gospel music number, which brought Great School alive. Headmaster Mr Weaver said afterwards: “It was amazing to see everyone in Great School on their feet and singing with the London Community Gospel Choir, something I have never seen before.”

Earlier in the day the London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) had run a workshop for local singers and choir members, who were then invited to perform in the evening concert, as was Ipswich School’s Chapel Choir. Workshops for Ipswich School pupils and young people from other schools were an important part of the Festival’s education programme, with pupils performing with the British Army Band Colchester on Thursday and the Alkyona Quartet on Monday. A particular highlight of Monday’s concert was the Mendelssohn Octet featuring the Alkyona Quartet and the Middle School Quartet who reached the finals of the national Chamber Music competition earlier this year.

Friday evening’s Jazz Night introduced two Ipswich School vocalists performing with the professional jazz band, Zara M from Year 10 and Misha B from Year 12, as well as sets from the Ipswich School Big Band.
Mrs Steensma, Director of Music said: “It was another busy festival, and it was great to welcome so many professional musicians to Ipswich School. They were full of praise for the students they performed alongside, which is obviously good to hear. Thank you to everyone who played a part in this very successful music event.”

My Festival Experience

Thursday 6 October brought the British Army Band Colchester to Ipswich School as a part of the Festival of Music 2022. We were fortunate enough for some of the Ipswich School music students to have a chance to play alongside the band as a part of their concert in the evening. The afternoon was a time for rehearsals with them, practising the music of all different genres, including Take On Me by A-ha, an Elton John Medley, and Shut up and Dance by WALK THE MOON.

After a short break, a few members of the band gave a presentation on careers with the British Army Band focusing on the process, benefits and incredible experiences that playing with any regiment has to offer. As it happens, the British Army Band Colchester had recently played in the procession for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and were soon after the concert heading off to play during the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle.

The concert in the evening was split into two halves with the first being purely the British Army Band Colchester; it gave an incredible opportunity for the music students to watch the band in their element and it was absolutely phenomenal from start to end. After a short interval, the second half of the concert began, featuring Ipswich School’s own musicians and it was an incredible experience to take part in.

Thank you to the British Army Band Colchester, the Britten Faculty of Music and everyone who was involved in making the evening so special.

Emily H, Year 12

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