Rydal Penrhos delighted in the unique power of music to bring people together and spark joy as Prep and Senior Spring Concerts capped off an incredible Lent Term for the school.
In another demonstration of the school’s ongoing commitment to music education, Rydal Penrhos celebrated the start of spring with Senior and Prep concerts taking place on Wednesday 22 March 2023 and Wednesday 29 March 2023, respectively. These two concerts follow on from the highly successful Rydal Penrhos Community Concert earlier in the month, which included an array of incredible performances from the Community Wind Band and Choir.
Music and performance have many benefits for children and young people. Learning music helps develop skills such as discipline, patience, and perseverance, as well as enhancing cognitive function, creativity, and imagination. Music education can also boost academic achievement, social skills, and self-confidence. These qualities are at the heart of a Rydal Penrhos education, where students are encouraged to explore their creative talents and develop their artistic abilities.
The Senior Concert was an impressive showcase of musical talent, with long-serving Music teacher Mr Pete Williams in charge of the evening. The performers displayed amazing skill and commitment, and the appearance of the Choir and Jazz Band added to the inclusive and fun atmosphere.
Several singers stood out, including William, whose rendition of ‘High and Dry’ by Radiohead captured the particular emotional valance of the original. Nestor Pento demonstrated incredible power and maturity in his voice, while Safa Maqsood recreated the Bond theme ‘No Time to Die’. Amber England Bryant covered ‘Enough for You’, a ballad from the debut album of American pop singer Olivia Rodrigo, and Violet Roberts gave a moving performance of ‘She Used to Be Mine’ by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.
The accomplished musicians on show were similarly impressive. Attilio Nguyen mastered the difficult art of the violin, Carys Evans played ‘Allegro’ by Berkeley on the piano, which she also showed great skill in during last year’s concert, and Ethan Bytheway, who started learning the trumpet during his time at the Prep, and has since attained the top ABRSM grade, played the jazz number ‘Round Midnight’.
The Prep Concert was just as impressive, with Deputy Principal and Head of Prep Mrs Lucy Davies welcoming all before handing over to the Prep Head Boy to introduce the first performers. For the best part of 90 minutes, the Prep musicians thrilled a packed crowd of parents, alumni, and staff as they performed songs from the classical era to contemporary pop.
Several pianists stood out, including Head Girl Ela Lloyd-Bloom, who performed ‘The Detective’, Hannah Pittaway, who played ‘Disco Baroque’ by Alan Bullard, and Ella Ffowcs Williams, who played ‘Intercity Stomp’ by Christopher Norton.
The group performances were also impressive. Key Stage 1 produced an energetic performance of ‘I Wanna Play in a Band’, Year 3 put their recorder practice to good use as they performed ‘Now the Day is Over’, and Year 4 played the classic Beethoven tune ‘Ode to Joy’ on the keyboard. The Chamber Choir produced an incredible cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, including choreography and an opening monologue by the Head Girl. The entirety of the Prep rounded off the evening with a performance of ‘Pure Imagination’, the well-loved tune synonymous with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Both concerts were supremely well attended, and the audience loved the music. Executive Principal John Waszek spoke at the end of both concerts, congratulating performers and recalling the incredible strides the school has made since facing the first Covid lockdown three years ago.
Teachers and staff must be thanked for making the event possible, as should parents for their constant enthusiasm. Most of all, however, we must credit our incredible pupils, who provided a true treat for the ears and a fitting end to a wonderful Lent Term.