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String Orchestra Concert 2024

Category: Music, News

The AGGS String Orchestra Concerto Concert took place on the evening of Thursday 2 May.

Mr John Stephens, CEO of Bright Futures attended the concert and writes…

String Orchestra is a group of more senior musicians and this year it included a number of Year 13 students. The programme was incredibly ambitious with work ranging from Bach to Britten with some Vivaldi and Copland in for good measure. There was a remarkable cello solo that would have challenged even a professional musician! We were also treated to two vocal pieces by Mindi – a most talented Year 13 student whose voice is really very special. Her performances are spine tinglingly good; she already has a maturity in her voice that belies her age. Mindi performed Voi Che Sapete from The Marriage of Figaro and Where Corals Lie by Elgar. She will leave AGGS this summer to study at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London and we confidently expect to see her featuring in professional work in the future – if that is the road she chooses!

It was great to see students from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in the orchestra too. All the students from the boys’ school brought additional expertise but there were two violinists in particular who played with magical virtuosity – Matthew and Isaac who performed Double Violin Concerto, 1st movement by JS Bach.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the concert was the beautiful ‘oneness’ of the ensemble. The baroque music that the orchestra played has a rich texture of voices, sometimes complementing, sometimes competing, themes popping in and out or delicately imitating each other using the different sections of the orchestra. The musical discipline required to keep all that together with both precision and musical flare is quite something. It requires much more than musicians being expert in their own parts. It demands a genuine togetherness that is inspired by the understated brilliance of the conductor. Janet Janes has been the visiting violin and viola tutor for 25 years and she also trains and leads the string orchestra. Janet is an inspiring expert musician and teacher. Whatever talent the students bring she takes it to new heights. She demands the highest of standards and supports students to reach and exceed those expectations. Perhaps most importantly Janet knows how to unify individual talents into the kind of brilliant ensemble that we heard throughout the evening. She shows students how, by working with others, they can create something even better than the sum of the many brilliant parts. Janet wears her musical authority and dedication lightly – but it is right that I pay tribute here to her special and exceptional contributions to music education over so many years.

There has never been a more important time for us to encourage and support our young people to listen, to sing and play, to join with others to make music together and in doing so to find emotional engagement and expression beyond words.

Violin concerto for four violins – Vivaldi
Voi che sapete – Marriage of Figaro – Mozart
Viola Concerto – Telemann
Prayer – Bloch
Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
Cavendish Road, Bowdon,
Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 2NL
Bright Futures SCITTCEOP