Day of cultural exchange and musical collaboration culminates in superb summer concert

Day of cultural exchange and musical collaboration culminates in superb summer concert

1 July 2024

Mr Richard Hammond-Hall, Director of Music

On Tuesday 25 June, the Music Department hosted 50 musicians from Good Hope School, Hong Kong for a delightful day of music making and cultural exchange.

At lunchtime, Woldingham students and staff learnt about the traditional instruments of the classical Chinese orchestra thanks to a fascinating interactive performance from Good Hope in the auditorium, under the baton of their esteemed conductor, Mr Wong Chi Wah.

In the evening, musicians from both schools performed in our annual summer concert, Anything Goes. Woldingham’s Symphony Orchestra opened the evening with a performance of Florence Price’s Juba Dance, a piece which interweaves West African dance rhythms with the instrumentation and structure of the western classical symphony. Zarina and Caitin in Year 8 brought the house down with a polished performance of The Space Between from the movie Descendants 2. Lower Sixth Formers Sasha and Lottie performed Adele’s When We Were Young with poise, musicianship and authority beyond their years. Sinfonietta delighted with a rousing rendition of He’s a Pirate under the leadership of Miss Wang. Refined and technically assured performances of Proust and Mozart from Lydia, Catherine and Fiona demonstrated that classical music is alive and well at Woldingham.

The first half of the evening concluded with 80 performers playing shoulder to shoulder as Good Hope and Woldingham School Orchestras joined together as the Fusion Orchestra to perform Dance of the Yao Tribe, composed by Tieshan Liu and Mao Yuan. The virtuosic sparring of the two orchestras as they navigated the dancing pentatonic melodies of the multi-movement work led to a thrilling finale.

Year 8 musicians did themselves proud in the second half of the programme. Emilie and Mathilda delighted us with Easy On Me; Maya, Sophia and Mathilda got everyone’s toes tapping with a brilliant performance of Shut Up and Dance; whilst Antonina impressed with a more intimate number, Enough For You. The audience also enjoyed hearing from some of Woldingham’s smaller ensembles, including Flutissimo playing Evening Prayer, Amaris singing Sarah Quartel’s atmospheric Birds’ Lullaby, and Buckethead from our Percussion Ensemble. Our Music Scholars’ Ensemble performed Vivaldi’s Laudamus Te, with instrumentalists delighting us with the lively, nimble orchestral sections, and beautiful soprano solos from Sephora and our Music Ribbon Keira.

The concert came to a powerful conclusion with every musician performing Africa by Toto, complete with body percussion, thrilling lighting from our inhouse AV team, and wonderful accompaniment by our Percussion Ensemble. 

It was a pleasure to welcome Good Hope to Woldingham and to make music together. We were all inspired by their dedication, discipline and virtuosity, and very much look forward to future collaborations.

More photos from the concert are shown in the gallery below.

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