May 30, 2017
Following long established tradition, the Upper Sixth marked their departure for study leave with the Leavers’ Concert, a moving farewell performance. Appropriately, head of School Will Stewart opened the evening with a dynamic performance of Zequinha de Abreu’s Tico Tico on euphonium before Jai Raja got the audience into the swing of things with a lilting saxophone performance of Gershwin’s Summertime. James Lear has featured in many concerts over the years and he modulated his powerful voice expertly to the intimate setting of the School Library with If I Sing. Tom Dilley, another music department stalwart and organist for many Abbey assemblies, turned to the piano to perform Bill Evan’s Noelle’s Theme before Joe Griffiths replaced him at the keyboard with a highly enjoyable I Got Rhythm. Amit Wangoo, a mainstay of the Choir, here performed solo in a touching version of Bowie’s Life on Mars and Sophie Gay demonstrated her virtuoso skills on the saxophone in Nigel Wood’s Schwarzer. Will Stewart and James Lear returned to round of the evening with a fond reminiscence of their early years in music lessons, encapsulated with a rhythmic, joyful performance of Stand By Me. On a warm summer’s evening, this was an entirely appropriate way for our leaving musicians to mark their departure form the School.