Music: Bede's Community Gathers for Recitals

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On Tuesday 5 February, the Music Scholars at Bede’s performed a captivating programme of repertoire that left us all enthralled by the sheer breadth and variety of talent at the Senior School.

Aisling Cotter opened the concert with Schumann’s soaring Widmung (meaning ‘dedication’) written with Clara, Schumann’s wife, very much in mind. Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor, written late in the Romantic composer’s life, is filled with a sense of darkness and foreboding. Evan Nayler performed with sensitivity and beautiful attention to detail: the filigree passages were crystal clear and spoke to everyone. 

Giving us a taste of Les Misérables later this year, Charlotte Webb and William Hopkins sang two amazing performances: On My Own and Who Am I? respectively. Bach’s famous cello suites were written as studies for young cellists, and Grace Watkins gave a faultless performance of Bourées I & II from the G major suite.

Sophia Titterton-Manos sang a wonderful rendition of Ellie Goulding’s cover of the famous Elton John song Your Song. Louis Davison showed us his creative skill at being able to sing and play the piano at the same time in Billie Eillish’s song Ocean Eyes. 

John Fahey’s edgy guitar writing allowed us to hear Tom Harrison’s talent as guitar player. John Fahey’s compositions had a strong 60s-70s bluesy feel and Tom played Death of the Clayton Peacock with tremendous skills and dexterity.

Thea Adams, recently selected to perform at Glyndebourne this summer, gave a spine-tingling performance of Lucy Simon’s How Could I Ever Know? From The Secret Garden. Daisy Noton performed the amazingly virtuosic third movement from Jean Rivier’s Flute Concerto, amazing us all with her sophisticated, sharp and faultless playing.

To end the evening, we were treated to two trio performances: one with Jude Harrison, the other with Conor Woodbridge and both featuring Oliver Prosper and Matthew Grant. The first, B flat Jam Blues and the second, Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man, provided the audience with brilliantly edgy renditions of these great original works.

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Conor Woodbridge, Oliver Prosper and Matthew Grant. Photograph by Liz Woodbridge

Wednesday 6 February saw the Music Department host a recital of Schubert’s iconic Winterreise, with baritone Benedict Kearns accompanied by Robert Scamardella, our Director of Music.

Winterreise is one of the great works of the Western musical canon, and now fills concert halls around the world. Benedict gave a spell-bounding performance of this amazing work, which charts a young man’s decent into loneliness, depression, despair and desolation over the course of 24 songs. This is not a work which is heard often in schools, but one which the Bede’s community enjoyed hearing. Many music scholars and pupils attended, hearing this work for the first time.

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Robert Scamardella, Headmaster Peter Goodyer and Benedict Kearns


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