Wine, cheese, and fantastic music were all served up in a friendly atmosphere on Sunday evening when the Hall was transformed into a club-like atmosphere, the audience sitting at round tables and enjoying the talent shown from over 60 Teddies pupils.
And what talent was on show. The Concert Band, at its largest and most proficient yet, gave a 40-minute programme of some of the most challenging repertoire for bands. It was particularly impressive to hear compositions by bandmasters Philip Sparke and film composers John Barry, as well as the Nicolai suite to The Merry Wives of Windsor. The trumpet quartet (Tom Powell, Caleb Akponasa, Eva Cottingham-Mayall and concertmaster Richard Powell) showed off their virtuosic abilities through the reworked New Carnival of Venice by Thomas Stevens, an impressive study for four trumpets. The Brass Band then took the audience through a variety of pieces, some traditional marches and some more modern brass band fare, including Clog Dance from Brassed Off!
The second half then focussed on jazz. Whether it was the moody improvisation work from Modern Jazz Ensemble, with Goodbye Pork Pie Hat or Brazilian Beat (particularly good improvisations from Noah Smith, Benje Bailey, Tom Powell and Ben Hilton-Johnson); or the huge dance sound of the Big Band (with vocal guests Ottilie Gee and Emma Measey), there was real entertainment on show — the evening closing with Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing (Will Bolam-Bassett, drums).
Well done to all the performers for two hours of astounding music, only a week into the new term! A real achievement.