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A night at the movies

A night at the movies

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21 March 2019

Earlier this week the magnificent surroundings of the Banqueting Room at the Guildhall thrilled to the sound of some of the most well-known films scores of all time, as the Bath Orchestral Gala Concert performed music from James Bond, E.T. and Jurassic Park, amongst others.

The concert’s repertoire was performed by KES musicians playing alongside Bath Philharmonia, as part of the School’s Side-by-Side partnership with the orchestra, which sees a year-long programme of mentoring, masterclasses and workshops involving senior school musicians and section leaders from Bath Philharmonia.  Now in its sixth year the programme is ‘flourishing’ according to Jason Thornton, Music Director at Bath Philharmonia and last year included one of the programme’s undoubted highlights, when rising star, saxophonist Jess Gillam, undertook a day of workshops and masterclasses at KES.

Tuesday’s concert saw over sixty KES musicians and vocalists performing music from Jurassic Park, Gladiator and E..T. Recalling the films, audience members were transported to the battle grounds of Gladiator, on to the open landscapes of Jurassic Park, where composer John Williams wrote a score aiming to ‘capture the awesome beauty and sublimity of the dinosaurs in nature’, and thence to the iconic last scene of E.T.  with its final, ‘operatic’ 15 minutes of music as the boys in the film fly on their bikes with E.T. in a bid to help him reach his space ship.

As KES Director of Music, Mr Drury noted on the evening:  "Music and film have been inextricably and symbiotically linked from the first moving pictures.  Films are powerfully enhanced or on occasions, degraded by their underscores and title themes.  Many famous scenes would seem every day, flat or even farcical without music and many films are better know for their scores!"

The concert’s theme was continued as KES vocalists followed a rousing rendition of the main James Bond theme by singing some of the most iconic songs from the spy series, with Millie Weare, Rosie Byrne, Tallulah Stephens and Molly Phillips singing Goldfinger, Nobody Does it Better, Skyfall and Live and Let Die.

The evening also saw star turns by three KES soloists, with Jemima Millar once more echoing the concert’s theme by performing a haunting and evocative version of Gabriel’s Oboe from the film, The Mission.  “When I found out that the theme of the evening was ‘A Night at the Movies’, this iconic and mesmerising oboe piece from The Mission immediately sprang to mind,” said Jemima. Fellow soloist and recent finalist in the Bath Young Musician of the Year Competition, Xavier Raynes, followed with a Bassoon Concerto by Mozart.  As Xavier notes, the Concerto “highlights the instrument’s many virtues and the interaction with the orchestra is lively and conversational.”  Year 13 musician, Theo West, completed the trio of solo performances, playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Trombone Concerto.  Ahead of his performance, Theo commented that although Koraskov’s piece was a daunting piece to play, he was very much looking forward to playing it, adding: “Playing with professional musicians has been a unique and invaluable experience.”

Elsewhere the evening’s repertoire also included the world premiere of EGLAF, an original score, written by the School’s Resident Composer, Mr Mark Boden. The piece was performed by both KES Senior Orchestra and Bath Philharmonia with a cello solo undertaken by KES musician, Morgan Jones.

Photos from the evening’s performance can be viewed on our flickr gallery, here.

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