A celebration of music

An infectious enthusiasm for music lies at the heart of Downe House and the annual Michaelmas Concert at the weekend proved to be a fantastic showcase for that enthusiasm, hard work and musical talent.

5 December 2019

The Michaelmas Concert featured a rich variety of music from classical to musical theatre, from liturgical to secular music. The programme showcased all the large orchestral and choral ensembles with over 300 appearances from girls in a variety of ensembles. The audience also enjoyed the opportunity to hear the new percussion ensemble, the Downe Beats who proved very popular.

The vibrant orchestral scene at Downe House was reflected in the 75+ member Symphony Orchestra who performed William Walton’s energetic Crown Imperial contrasted with the Chamber Orchestra’s performance of the serene folksong-infused The Banks of Green Willow by George Butterworth.

All six choirs performed on stage during the Concert – one particular highlight was the premiere performance of Orpheus and His Lute composed by Douglas Coombes. This beautiful work was written especially for Polyphonix after Downe House won the title of Barnardo’s Senior Choir of the Year 2019 for the second year running at the Royal Festival Hall.

The Concert culminated in a performance by 100 girls on stage from four of the School choirs involving choristers from Remove all the way through to the Upper Sixth performing John Rutter’s The music’s always there with you as a fitting end to the celebration of music.

Director of Music, Dr Charlotte Exon said, “The girls have worked incredibly hard to prepare for this Michaelmas Concert. The performances we have seen this evening are testament to their musical commitment. It has been a privilege to see how they have risen to the challenge of new musical work and for many of them, this is their first ever appearance on stage in a Downe House choir or orchestra.

I would like to thank the Music Department staff, including our excellent team of Visiting Music Teachers, for their guidance, encouragement and commitment to our musicians, enabling them to enjoy such a high level of music-making. My grateful thanks also, to our AV, Estates, Marketing, Resources and Catering teams for their support for this event.”

Watch our talented girls performing in the Michaelmas Concert here


View photos from the Michaelmas Concert here

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