November 25, 2021

Music: Live Audiences are Back!

We have been delighted to welcome audiences back to Main Hall for two live concerts on consecutive Wednesdays following the half term Covid-19 circuit breaker. Performances prior to Long Leave were live streamed due to concerns about the pandemic but as we move towards one of the most popular events in the Leighton Park calendar, the Christmas Concert, it’s wonderful to have a live audience once more.

Wednesday 17th November saw a number of acts deliver a range of stunning musical performances in the Soloists’ Concert. For many it was their first time performing to an audience instead of a camera in almost two years and all the more nerve-wrecking as a result. The students all did brilliantly and as Director of Music & Media, Rosemary Scales, commented on the night, demonstrated great courage and confidence in carrying on, even if things didn’t go entirely to plan; a testament to their resilience. The programme was eclectic covering a variety of styles from Bach to Ed Sheeran and instruments from voice to the Yamaha CFX piano. Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of the evening was that of Emma Scannell, accompanist, who played 16 different pieces perfectly and without a break!

Year 11 guitar player, vocalist and music scholar, Kabir, commented “Performing in a concert felt like a massive jump back to normality. Livestreamed concerts do not give the same experience to the performers or the audience, so having that ‘authentic’ concert feel was fantastic. I believe that the best part of the evening was how all the students and parents were socialising for the first time after two years. It was nice to see some familiar faces from past audiences, and also to meet the parents who are new to the community. Music at LP is brilliant. My favourite place in the School is the MMC, my favourite subjects: Music and Media, and my favourite hobbies are Choir and Orchestra. I spend a lot of time in the Music Department, and I absolutely love it. I have been given countless opportunities and am constantly pushed in positive directions, to do and be more as a musician at LP, and outside of school.”

Fellow musician and Year 11 student, Jack, agreed, “It was amazing to be back performing and doing my passion, and it was fantastic to have an audience again for the first time in so long, one of the greatest parts of the evening for me was just seeing everyone perform as LP musicians have so much talent and everyone was great to watch. What I love about music at LP is that anyone is welcome at all levels whether someone has just started or if they have been playing music their entire life.”

Sophie (Year 8) reflected, “Performing on stage for the first time for a long time was really enjoyable! It was really nerve racking at first but so much fun while I was there. Performing in front of a live audience is something I have done before but never at LP until now and I loved it. The stage and hall are so nice and performing in it is great and even better in front of audience. My favourite part of the evening was spending time with my music friends and the amazing music department having a concert. It was so much fun! I am so excited for more concerts like these! The Music Department at LP is such a great environment with amazing funny people who all enjoy music. I am so grateful to be part of this community!”

Alice (Year 9) found it equally enjoyable, “It’s incredible to be back to some form of normality with concerts, and to be able to have a live audience. Although the music department did an incredible job with online concerts, the atmosphere is totally different in person! As always, being able to watch the performances and progress of everyone is very enjoyable. Seeing the results of both their, and all the crew’s efforts is rewarding. I feel that music at LP has always been about expanding your horizons, and being exposed to a range of music. Students are encouraged to explore all areas; music technology, composition and performance. Whether by multiple instruments, or opportunities for classical and contemporary music, LP music is trying some of everything.”

The following week it was the turn of our talented Jazz musicians to take the floor, led by Head of Jazz and professional musician, Stuart Henderson. “The Jazz Infusions Concert on Wednesday 24th November showcased the abundance of young Jazz musicians we have at LP. Bands and soloists from Fryer, Year 10, Year 11 and Sixth Form played everything from Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker to Van Morrison and Amy Winehouse.” said Stuart.

Pianist, Lewei, who performed a solo from Alice in Wonderland as well as two pieces with the Jazz band, commented “It was so nice to have a live audience watching, instead of lots of cameras. I think the interaction between the musicians and the audience is key to a good performance. It was also great to be able to play together once more.”

See more photos in our Soloists’ Concert and Jazz Infusions galleries!

How can we help?

Take the next step by selecting an option below, or if you want to drop us a quick message, you can do so with the form.

Shinfield Road
Berkshire, UK
+44 (0) 118 987 9600
Request a prospectus Arrange a visit Make an application
Contact Us
I agree with your terms & conditions and privacy policy *
I would like to receive updates from Leighton Park, including updates about upcoming events