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Britten Music Course hits the high notes!

Published on isbi School News dated Tuesday 2nd of August 2011

YOUNGSTERS ADD THIRD DIMENSION TO FESTIVAL' was the headline in the Eastern Daily Press when the first Britten Music Course at Gresham's concluded with a fantastic performance at the King's Lynn Festival with the European Chamber Orchestra and the KL Festival Chorus.

All 16 children performing, who came from across the country, had taken part in a three day residential music course at the School, with choral and instrumental workshops culminating in this exciting opportunity to perform with a major choir and a leading orchestra at the opening night of the Festival.

Director Tom Appleton (Monteverdi Choir & Guest Conductor of National Youth Choir of Great Britain and, of course, an Old Greshamian) led morning choral workshops where the children enjoyed learning the concert repertoire including Vivaldi's Gloria. In-between games of ultimate Frisbee and tennis, the afternoon sessions saw the students divided up into instrumental ensemble workshops given by members of music staff from Gresham's. On the Saturday evening, all the students on the Course performed individual solos in a concert in the School's beautiful chapel which also included the Course's 'Benjamin Britten Ensemble', who played extracts from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite and Mozart's Toy Symphony.

The performance with EUCO on the Sunday evening was a resounding success, with the students from the Britten Music Course performing with a choir of over a hundred, to an audience of over six hundred. In particular, the students' performance of Allegri's Miserere alongside Katy Hill from The Sixteen, Rosie Aldridge (Glyndebourne mezzo) and Jamie Wright (Old Greshamian) drew much applause, whilst their ability to contribute fully to a major choral work such as the Vivaldi Gloria after only three rehearsal sessions was remarkable.

''The youngsters, aged 10-13, sang in Allegri's Miserere dramatically staged by chorus Director Tom Appleton, and joined in a stirring rendition of Vivald's Gloria.' Eastern Daily Press

In 2013 Gresham's will be celebrating the centenary of Britten's birth with a number of major musical events.
Britten Music Course hits the high notes! - Photo 1Britten Music Course hits the high notes! - Photo 2Britten Music Course hits the high notes! - Photo 3
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