Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

The Headmaster's Invitation Concert

The Headmaster's Invitation Concert

The Headmaster’s Invitation Concert featured a cornucopia of musical styles and groups. This is traditionally the leavers’ concert, when outstanding musicians in the Upper Sixth can show themselves at their best. And, indeed, there were excellent solos: William Wathey playing the finale of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto; Ailsa Campbell singing three songs from Schumann’s song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben.  

There were Lower Sixth soloists too: Henry Mattinson playing Oscar Peterson’s Hallelujah Time; and Ben Owen (clarinet) a movement from Weber’s Grand Duo Concertant.  

That might have been enough for anyone: but there were superb duos and trios, too. We enjoyed voice and guitars from Arjun Sehgal and George Cochrane (including an original composition); Robbie Eyre and Isabella Garcia Foster singing and playing their original joint work; and Jacob Baxter and Jamie Robson playing Jacob’s arrangement of a wonderful Scottish folksong for violin and guitar, Ashokan Farewell.  

The senior guitar trio (one Upper, two Lower Sixth Formers, together for some five years) played three pieces: and Sixth Form singing group Cappella sang three cracking songs the last of which, Valerie, was a stunning arrangement featuring solos from Becky Shepherdson and Robbie Eyre.  

Becky and Ailsa appeared again (with Mrs Blazey) in the magical unaccompanied trio “Lift up thine eyes” from Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  

The concert finished with a small jazz group recreating the version of Gershwin’s They Can’t Take That Away From Me recorded by the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong back in the 50s. A swinging end to an wonderful evening’s music.