Gaudy Week awaits

Though the weather for June is frightful; take joy from Gaudy’s arrival; so now we have a place to go; give us a show, give us a show, give us a show!

Ladies and gentlemen, the long wait is over: Gaudy Week is upon us. Months of effort have gone into the orchestration, rehearsals and other preparations for this most glorious of summer festivals and, with the first formal events taking place on Friday 28th June, all the work is about to pay off. 

Pupils, staff, parents, families and friends can attend 18 official events over the course of the week, whilst countless other trips, activities, sports and pursuits afford the School the perfect send off into the summer at the conclusion of the school year. A few tickets are still available for some events – if you haven’t booked yours yet do head over to the booking site (available here) to confirm your seats.

Epic musical performances bookend the events schedule this year, with a special Warden’s Recital getting the ball rolling on Friday 28th June at 5.00pm, as professional opera singer, Elizabeth Williamson, performs a programme of the most popular arias from well-known operas, accompanied by pianist Mauricio Javier Barra. At the far end of the Gaudy Week schedule, we conclude with a showstopping concert on Thursday 4th July at 8.00pm in Oxford University’s Sheldonian Theatre. The Gaudy Concert brings together the Chapel Choirs, Singers and Festival Orchestra to perform Mozart’s Requiem and Flute Concerto in D, with Benjy Bailey the soloist. Tickets for the Sheldonian Gaudy Concert are available here.

The music doesn’t stop there either; don’t miss the might of the Bands Festival, the prowess of the Songwriters’ Collective, the suaveness of Jazz from the House Band, the intimacy of the Close Harmony Showcase or the final bow of the Upper Sixth Leavers’ Platform.

An appetite for the dramatic can be sated by one of the three performances each of the Edinburgh Fringe and Lower School plays. Both have an overtone of teenage pressures, with If It Didn’t Matter tackling loss, angst, depression, rebellion and growing responsibility, and 500 Words some of the challenges of academic life and chasing deadlines. Elsewhere, the spoken word gets a full airing with the monologues and duologues of the LAMDA Presentation Evening on Saturday 29th June at 8.00pm.

The perennially popular Dance Show changes format and venue this year, resurfacing in the Marquee for a one-show extravaganza of style and sophistication, on Wednesday evening at 8.00pm, as Fergus Flory takes up the role of the iconic Bond of silver-screened legend along with more than 50 dancers re-interpreting the world of 007 in dance form.

The art and design exhibitions get a bumper edition face lift for 2019, occupying multiple venues and incorporating photography and an art auction of work by Arkadiy Petrov in support of the school’s charity, Plastic Tides. The Private View and Drinks Reception on Thursday 4th July is being hosted by the Friends of St Edward’s from 5.00pm, offering a perfect aperitif to the Gaudy Concert at the Sheldonian later in the evening – concert tickets include return travel from the Lodge.

The academic creativity and acumen of the Shells and Fourth Form are showcased on Friday 28th June and Wednesday 3rd July with the Warden’s Project Final for the Fourth Form and the Shell Science Exhibition and Presentations. The Shells, working in groups, demonstrate their proposals for how the School could become more environmentally sustainable. Meanwhile the innovative and thought-provoking ideas and artefacts of the Fourth Form’s Warden’s Project entries will be on display and introduced by the pupils on Friday evening at 8pm. Finalists this year include crime-reducing websites and affordable prosthetic limbs. 

There is so much to look forward to before the curtain finally comes down on the term and the academic year, and all this before the prizes and speeches of Gaudy itself on Friday 5th July from 11.00am in the Marquee. The year may be ending, but what a way to sign off!

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