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The Croft Preparatory School

Dulce et Forte

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The Croft School 80th Anniversary Gala Concert

On Thursday 6 June, The Croft held a sensational concert in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon, to celebrate the 80th Anniversary. It started with a big bang from the Brass Ensemble, playing a fabulous and fantastic fanfare! This led directly into the Gala Choir - 150 singers! - and Gala Orchestra - 40 musicians! - performing the unforgettable Zadok the Priest. It filled the church with an enormous sound and was a truly magical moment!

In the first half there were some spectacular solos. Charlotte K sang the beautiful Come Again, accompanied by Mr Penny on classical guitar. We had past pupils like Oliver T, Joe C and Izzy S coming back to perform for us too. Siân H said that Izzy’s solo sounded: ‘very professional’.

The Croft Junior Choir sang two songs in the first half. Sienna L is in the Junior Choir, and she really enjoyed performing Cuckoo: ‘I felt excited and I thought it went really well’.

Just before the interval we had an exhilarating performance from The Junior Saint James’s Singers @ The Croft, performing a piece called Anya, which they had learnt for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Mr Bixley narrated a Russian folk story in between their songs. He had incredible diction and amazing voices for each character in the story.

After the interval, the Junior Choir came on again and sang a song in French. It was about six different animals, and it sounded very challenging. Next there was an incredible performance from Megan B, Olivia G and Isabelle H who sang Britten’s Cradle Song. Megan B said: ‘Before I went on, I was really nervous and I thought I was going to get it all wrong. Afterwards I felt proud and relieved!’.

There were some more amazing solos, including former pupils Alice H, performing Domine Deus, accompanied beautifully by an oboe, and Octavia L, who sang a mind-blowing performance of Lascia Ch’io pianga, which really blew everyone away. Christopher W, who left The Croft to become a chorister at Westminster Abbey, gave an inspiring performance of Pieta Signore. It’s hard to imagine how you can have a voice that bold and incredible!

The Croft Senior Choir sang Sheep may Safely Graze with the Recorder Ensemble. This was a beautiful German piece, and afterwards Mr Shortman said it was the best we had ever sung it.

Then The Junior Saint James’s Singers @ The Croft sang again, but this time they sang from Shakespeare’s Grave. They were so far away, but the sensational sound echoed across the church and everyone could hear it.

Lastly, we had the Gala Choir again, comprising the Senior Choir, JSJS@The Croft, the Staff/Parent Choir and Holy Trinity Church Choir. Firstly, they sang an astonishing performance of The Call of Wisdom, a song composed for the Diamond Jubilee, with the lyrics written by a man who used to go to King Edward VI School! Lastly, we finished with the Hallelujah Chorus. It was stunning!

Overall, it was a once in a lifetime experience to hear such glorious voices, and an incredibly amazing orchestra. We are very proud to have been a part of it.

Report by our Choral Correspondents, Anna M and Megan B

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