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Last week Eton musicians who specialise in brass instruments performed an exciting joint concert with St Paul’s Girls School, the culmination of two years of preparation and planning. After a rehearsal the previous Sunday in Eton, 25 pupils travelled to Hammersmith to play in the SPGS Great Hall in front of an appreciative live audience and many more watching the live stream at home.

The concert comprised three full ensemble pieces as well as two showcases from each section. Following a rousing opening piece by Janacek, with the entire band packing the stage and balconies, the horns played Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ and the trumpets performed a moving rendition of the spiritual ‘Steal Away’. DGS, Eton’s Head of Brass and Percussion, conducted his own arrangements of Princess Leia’s Theme from Star Wars, and ‘When I fall in Love’, with the tubas demonstrating considerable versatility. We also performed a full ensemble piece composed and conducted by a member of the SPGS Music staff.

The audience enjoyed some well-known tunes including ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ by the trumpets, and the theme from ‘Game of Thrones’ by the trombones before the full massed group took to the stage again for the finale, a three-movement suite by a very familiar composer to the Eton pupils, Malcolm Arnold. The energetic ‘Rondo’ rounded off (appropriately) the concert to leave both performers and audience on a high. Many thanks to all the staff from SPGS and Eton for organising such an enjoyable occasion.

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