Chamber Music Christmas Concert

On the 23rd of November, the Chamber Music students presented their final concert of the year. After a slightly shortened term due to everyone doing ALL THE THINGS, the students were still able to present an admirable concert which was enjoyed by the audience present.

The concert opened with The Rainbow Notes performing together The Twelve Days of Christmas; a tricky thing to pull off due to the multiple changes of time signature, but they did well. The Rainbow Notes players; India Smith, Nathea Ping-Kee and Neve Dougherty are all still in primary school, and so to be performing complicated arrangements and holding it together well is a great credit to them. The girls also played an arrangement of Jingle Bells, establishing a very festive tone for the evening.

These festivities were followed by a performance of the ‘Rondo’ Movement from Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor, K.478. (Have you ever wondered what the K. stands for with the number after a work by Mozart? It’s called the Kochel number (pronounced Kerkel) and it is a chronological number in a catalogue completed by a Mr Ludwig von Kochel in 1862. This means that the piano quartet was the 478th work Mozart wrote, according to Kochel). The piano quartet currently called Euphoria (get it?) consists of William Mackson, Aiden Swick, Gabby Cotterell and Laura Smithham. These four young people, the oldest of whom is in year 8, performed a work in progress version of the first 100 bars or so of the quartet. The performance was then completed by Robyn Bradley, April Kelson, Laura Curotta, and Robert Jackson, with Ms Kelson demonstrating admirably what to do when you’re completely lost and haven’t figured out the tempo.

The audience also enjoyed a performance from Aiden and Will making some good ole timey fiddlin’ ruckus; and the biggest Pachabel’s Canon performance in the history of NECOM, with 5 players participating in the canon, including two cellists. Robert Jackson had the privilege of being able to play the ground bass to accompany the canon. The Canon performance featured the players of Triple Platinum; Juliet Knuckey, Madi Sim, and Keeley O’Connor; as well as those of Womble Ensemble; Ruby Straker and Lauren Fenton.

The Womble Ensemble was missing the violin stylings of William Rowe-Dawson, and we hope he will be able to join us at our next performance; which will probably be in second term, sometime before the Eisteddfod. Assisted by Ms Kelson, the Womblers performed the ‘Bourree’ from the famous Water Music Suite in F by Handel.

The final performance was from the ever-stylish Triple Platinum, who presented the entire work of Haydn’s Divertimento No. 53. This work was originally written for an ensemble which included the extinct instrument the baryton, which was played by Haydn’s boss when he worked for Prince Esterhazy’s court. Haydn had to write many works for his boss to play, even though at the time the instrument was already becoming less popular. Triple Platinum performed a version rewritten for the violin, viola and cello; and they did it very well. This performance represents a step up in musical maturity for the ensemble and I congratulate them on their success.

All in all, a very successful concert and a successful term for NECOM’s chamber musicians. I wish you all a restful, musical break, and look forward to working with you in the new year.

April Kelson