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Orchestral Weekend

Be you a First Year on your first visit, or a veteran Sixth Form player on your sixth or seventh time at Ilam Hall, the Orchestral Weekend always generates fun and challenges in equal measure.

The tenth annual instalment was no different, and the programme of music varied dramatically from one ensemble to another. Whilst Junior Orchestra tackled arrangements of classical staples including Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Senior Orchestra swung their way through the music from The Jungle Book.

Aside from the music, Ilam Country Park provided a stunning vista and a great backdrop to our rehearsals, and the annual walk was enjoyed by all, despite the adverse weather conditions!

Over the course of the weekend we also attended several sectional rehearsals, where each ensemble could specialise. The Strings tackled classics such as The Art of Fugue by J. S. Bach and Adagio by Samuel Barber, which provided challenges for even the most experienced of players. The Wind and Brass took on some more popular favourites including Superstition by Stevie Wonder and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

As always the weekend ended with a concert at school upon our return, where we showcased all that we had learnt. The concert was brought to a rousing conclusion by the Concert Band who performed Earthdance by Michael Sweeney, the beginning of which certainly reminded us of the weather on Saturday morning! The end of the concert also provided an opportunity for the leaving Upper Sixth to say a well-deserved thank you to all the teachers and conductors who accompanied us on the trip, and most of all to Mr Madden, who undertakes the task of organising the weekend every year and always makes it a success.

By Ben Barker LVI CAH