There are a variety of opportunities each year for our musicians to perform in prestigious venues outside school; recently these have included St John’s Smith Square, Christ Church Cathedral, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Merton College, Cadogan Hall London, St Luke’s Chelsea, The Sheldonian Theatre and Town Hall in Oxford. There are also overseas tours, most recently to Belgium where concerts were given in a variety of locations.
The Concert Band and Big Band embarked on a tour to Belgium accompanied by Vicky Savage, David Smith, Karen Suter, Annie Hancock, Jonathan Morgan, and Shelley Smith. 53 children attended the tour which combined culture, history and music into a fantastic 6 day trip. The concert at Oostende took place in a band stand in the middle of the market square and the Concert Band performed favourites such as Skyfall, You Raise me Up and Ain’t no mountain high enough. Big Band followed with a mixture of Latin, Funk, Pop and Jazz arrangements. After a visit to the trenches to put their performance in context, the children were privileged to perform two hymns at the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate which was a very special and moving service. Charlotte Hope and Jemma Li laid a wreath on behalf of the Dragon School. The service was an incredible experience for our young musicians with a congregation of over 1000 visitors plus army personnel and uniformed officers performing the bugle call and last post.
The next performance was to an audience of pupils, teachers and supporting parents at the British School of Brussels. The usual mixture of popular, film and jazz music from both bands was very well received with the young children swaying to the music and dancing.
The final concert was in St Michael’s Church in Ghent and as well as the usual programme of music, it also included a folk song by the Saxophone Quintet and a fanfare from the Upper School Brass Ensemble. The acoustics were challenging but it was another great performance.
The previous year saw a combined Choir and Strings Tour to Venice which was an enormous success for the Dragon School Choir and Dragonetti Strings.
This year, the newly formed chamber choir ‘Idris’ will go on tour to Normandy in France to sing a Christmas programme in two prestigious churches during exeat.