Chopin, Van Halen and Dixieland Jazz
Posted on 03 December 2018

At the end of November, an enthusiastic audience was treated to another magnificent evening of music-making, as Chamber Orchestra and Big Band took us on an eclectic journey celebrating many great works centred around the Impressionist movement.  From Chopin to John Rutter, Gershwin to Van Morrison, with a bit of Dixieland Jazz thrown in for good measure, Chamber Orchestra and Big Band wowed the audience with their performance of these challenging works.

Second year student Olivia Virgo, performed ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’, by Eric Thiman.  She really enjoyed the experience, commenting, “The performance opportunities at Farnborough are incredible.  Being able to sing a solo at the Chamber Orchestra and Big Band Concert was both exciting and memorable, and such a great experience.

The tempo was ramped up in the second half with Big Band playing toe-tapping standards such as Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’ and Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ - complete with choreography by the brass section!  Soloist in Big Band’s rendition of ‘Jump’, Robyn Canavan said of the evening, Singing with Big Band opened up a whole new world of performance for me, and I would love to do it all over again!  The fact we can make music together with so many talented people at such a young age is truly special.”

Big Band also sensitively performed two works by Paul Simon - ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, and ‘The Sound of Silence’ - proving that you don’t need words for it to be a song.

Matthew Quilliam, Ukulele player in the College’s Dixieland Band, ‘The Guatemalan Soufflé Patrol’, is no stranger to performing and said on the evening, “This band is a relatively new project, so I was really excited to perform at the concert.  This was the first time that some of our players have ever encountered jazz, but being the amazing musicians they are, this wasn't much of a problem at all; our two numbers went down very well, judging by all the foot tapping that was going on!”

Ben Dowsett, Curriculum Manager for music commented, “The evening was a fantastic illustration of both the huge variety of talent and also the quality of music-making that goes on at Farnborough.  It was a great testament to the hard work of the many students that take part in Chamber Orchestra and Big Band each week in addition to their studies."