On Thursday 23rd of September, College Chapel hosted the Eton Boys’ Concert as part of the annual Windsor Festival. The festival has been part of the local calendar for more than 40 years and Eton ‘s Music Department been part of this tradition since its inception. This year there were piano and tuba solos, as well as performances by the Brass Ensemble, as well as College Chapel Choir. Press Officer James Midgley was playing in the Brass Ensemble and told us about the concert.
‘We opened the concert, so we certainly felt the nerves creeping in as we walked through a crowd of 450 people to perform! Seeing all those people fill the seats, we felt grateful for so many people taking the time to listen to our pieces and we told ourselves that we had to perform well. In the end, I think everyone who performed agreed it was a really rewarding and enjoyable experience.
We began with a classical piece called ‘Allegro from Suite’ by Hans Leo Hassler and we had two ‘choirs’ of instruments playing to each other from opposite ends of College Chapel, which created a beautiful antiphonal sound. Our second piece was the less formal, well-known tune of ‘Mr. Jums’ by Chris Hazell, which we played after piano, singing, and recorder solos, all from Etonians.
After our performance, we stayed to watch the rest of the festival. We heard the bellowing sound of a tuba solo, the angelic voices of College Chapel Choir, as well as the warm timbre of a clarinet, piano and viola trio. The concert also featured pieces by British composer Sir Malcom Arnold, who was born 100 years ago. These included the first movement of his Piano Sonata, a Fantasy for Solo Tuba, and the second and third movements of a Sonatina for the Recorder.
It was wonderful to see College Chapel full of music lovers again, and we would like to thank the Windsor Festival for giving us the chance to perform the music we love.’