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Christmas Concert a Roaring Success

This year’s Christmas Concert was another roaring success with some calling it the ‘best ever’!

The first half of the concert saw a dramatic performance of music from The Greatest Showman, Pirates of the Caribbean and Ghostbusters from the college’s 50-strong Concert Orchestra. There were lively performances of I Want You Back and Hit The Road Jack from the Godalming College Singers, as well as a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin through a performance of Respect. A beautiful solo piano performance of Debussy’s Clair de Lune by Jonny North left the audience of over 200 stunned in silence, as did the mesmerising harp solo from Millie Windsor-Lewis. Felix Rockhill has just been appointed as a trombonist in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and he treated us to a performance of I’m Getting Sentimental Over You. His stage presence is purely professional and it is clear to see why he has been chosen to represent the country. Will Rowling, is a talented percussionist who has just been offered degree places at RWCMD and the Royal College of Music. He gave a stunning performance on the marimba which was kindly donated to the college by the Dan Eley Foundation last year. Students are encouraged to direct and form their own chamber ensembles and this year a trombone quartet and a wind quintet have been formed. Both ensembles gave fantastic performances of music they had arranged and composed themselves. The first half of the concert ended with an exciting trio of pieces from the college’s Jazz Band performing Blues in the Night, Moonlight Serenade and Jumpin’ at the Woodside. 

After a mince pie and some wine, the audience came back for the second half which was full of festive fun and frolics! The Jazz Band opened the second half with performances of The Christmas Song, Christmas Time is Here and Let It Snow, featuring the skilled vocals of Aidan Skelley, Millie Windsor-Lewis and Lex Botting. The college’s treasured chamber choir gave beautifully technical performances of My Lord Has Come, In The Bleak Midwinter and O Magnum Mysterium, leaving the audience feeling full of Christmas cheer. A Salvation Army style brass band performed the classic carols O Come All Ye Faithful, Ding Dong Merrily and Away in a Manger, before handing over the Godalming College Singers who returned to perform Last Christmas and All I Want For Christmas Is You. Jamie Stroud, Olly Searl, Lex La-Vey and Ben Cole, are all new lower sixth students. 4 months ago they had never met each other, yet they gave a spellbinding performance of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas in a Jamie Cullum Jazz style. We are very excited to see what this ensemble will develop in to and continue to offer over the coming year. The concert came to a close with a dynamic ending from the Concert Orchestra performing Fairytale of New York, Ukranian Bell Carol and a medley of Christmas favourites. 

Ceilidh Botfield, Head of Music, said ‘The talent, commitment and professionalism demonstrated by our students continues to astound me. They have worked so hard since the first rehearsal in September to produce such a fantastic evening of high quality musical entertainment. They turn up for rehearsals on time, prepared and eager to get going. They are an absolute dream to work with and I can’t wait for more music-making in 2019!’.

The next concert will be held at the United Church in Godalming on Wednesday 13th March from 7pm in aid of the Dan Eley Foundation. Tickets can be bought at www.ticketsource.co.uk/godalmingcollegemusic We hope to see you there!