Welcome to our second Founder’s choral concert with Polyphonix, In Harmony and Chamber Orchestra!

Today, we are presenting a beautiful programme of uplifting music with a selection of dances from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, followed by Vivaldi’s Gloria.

The Nutcracker ballet, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, tells the story of a young girl named Clara who, on Christmas Eve, receives a wooden nutcracker doll that leads her into a magical adventure. No doubt the Chamber Orchestra will transport us to a fantastic world and have us all dancing in the aisles! We are very grateful to Miss Alice Smith, the dancers, and the whole Dance department for their creative vision and choreography in this collaboration.

The musical and contextual journey of Vivaldi’s Gloria is beautifully touching and optimistic. The work was originally written for the women of Ospedale della Pietà – an institution for orphaned women in Venice – where they would serenade the streets from the hidden upper galleries of the Santa Maria Church. The lilting melodies of the 12 movements, falling within the genre of a Baroque cantata mass, must have made Venice quite the setting of romance and charm. Adding to the Gloria’s charm is its overall sense of optimism. Whilst there is a clear emotional trajectory within the musical work, Vivaldi establishes a sense of hopefulness both at the beginning and end. Perhaps this helps provide one of the many explanations why, when asking members of Polyphonix to describe the experience of singing the Gloria in one word, ‘warming’ and ‘exhilarated’ were mentioned.

We wish to particularly thank our soloists Alice Barber, Lydia Isadora Dyer, Serena Browne, Isabella Hudson, Alice Gillham, and their singing teachers. Our Chamber Orchestra is joined by professional musicians (most of whom are on the Visiting Music Team at Downe House) playing alongside our advanced musicians and giving them an invaluable insight into professional orchestral playing.

We hope that you enjoy this special musical journey!

The Programme

 

Chamber Orchestra and the Dance Department

Selection of dances from the Nutcracker Suite
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
arr. Chris Gill

i) March
Olivia Cole, Phillipa Drysdale, Amelie Perceval dancers

ii) Trepak (Russian Dance)
Keira Chua, Ka Ching Anna Pang dancers

iii) Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Rosina Gill-Wagner dancer
Mingxi Li solo celesta

iv) Dance of the Mirlitons
Keira Chua, Hyunmin (Becky) Oh, Ka Ching Anna Pang dancers
Xiaoyu Hu, Margaret Tam, Tiffany Ying solo flutes

v) Waltz of the Flowers
Annika Last, Ka Ching Anna Pang, Iona Russell dancers
Hitomi Kotaka (Yip) solo harp

Yujia Yuan leader
Mr Chris Gill conductor

 

Polyphonix, In Harmony and Chamber Orchestra

Gloria RV 589
by Antonio Vivaldi

i) Gloria in excelsis Deo Glory to God in the highest 

ii) Et in terra pax hominibus And peace to his people on earth

iii) Laudamus te We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you
Lydia Isadora Dyer soprano
Alice Barber soprano

iv) Gratias agimus tibi We give you thanks

v) Propter magnam gloriam For your great glory

vi) Domine Deus Lord God, heavenly King, O God almighty Father
Serena Browne soprano

vii) Domine Fili unigenite Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son

viii) Domine Deus, Agnus Dei Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Isabella Hudson alto

ix) Qui tollis peccata mundi You take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer

x) Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris You are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us
Alice Gillham alto

xi) Quoniam tu solus Sanctus For You alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ

xii) Cum Sancto Spiritu With the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Mrs Susan Norman conductor

Our Musicians

Cymbeline Attwater
Serena Browne
Zhi Ling (Lauren) Chu
Jia Chun
Georgina Dawson
Xiaoyu Hu
Isabella Hudson
Natalie Hui
Noelle Hui
Hitomi Kotaka (Yip)
Gauri Langhae
Mingxi Li
Tsz Yuet Natalie Luo
Tatiana Montanari
Carmen Ren
Margaret Tam
Cathy Wang
Tiffany Ying
Yujia Yuan
Gabrielle (Gigi) Yue
Oladunni Are
Alice Barber
Charlotte Benson
Serena Browne
Olivia Cole
Imogen Daley
Lydia Isadora Dyer
Alice Gillham
Linxin (Sophia) Guo
Flora Hay
Isabella Hudson
Kateryna Kryvoruchko
Eloise McNair Scott
Tatiana Montanari
Veronika Reinl
Margaret Tam
Chen Wang
Chloe Wang
Hui Wang
Estelle Alldis-Kervella
Emmeline Anderson
Elizabeth Carter Shaw
Jia Chun
Charlotte Cunningham
Sophia Darroue
Rosina Gill-Wagner
Xiaoyu Hu
Zara Hughes
Hitomi Kotaka (Yip)
Emma Kovalchuck
Gauri Langhae
Ziqun (Linda) Lu
Tsz Yuet Natalie Luo
Petra McKay
Lin Yi (Emily) Meng
Trinity Parkes
Isabella Raynsford
Carmen Ren
Ilaria Rosa
Selma Schmitt
Isabella Warr
Catherine Yam
Tiffany Ying
Gabrielle (Gigi) Yue

 

Music Seniors

Serena Browne and Isabella Hudson Joint Heads of Music

Ruoxi (Jasmine) Yang Head of Instrumental Music

Lydia Isadora Dyer Head of Choral

Alice Barber Deputy Head of Choral

Our Ensembles

Jazz Band is open to all students who want to experience the world of jazz music. Mixing modern pop songs and recognisable tunes from film & TV along with jazz standards, there really is something for everyone! Previous performing highlights have included Founders' Weekend, Michaelmas Concerts and several Murray Music Moments.
This is our youngest choir at Downe House which includes all girls from Remove (Year 7), who sing an eclectic mix of choral music. The choir aims to provide an exciting start to their musical journey at Downe House where choral foundations are laid for the future. Once Removed has already sung at the Michaelmas Concert, Carol Service and Christmas Lunch this year.
Sinfonia is Downe House's training orchestra for players around Grades 2-5. They play popular and enjoyable music preparing them for the move to Symphony Orchestra in the future. Sinfonia has already performed in the Michaelmas Concert this year.
In Harmony is the choir for Lower Fourth (Year 8) and Upper Fourth (Year 9) pupils, providing an excellent foundation for girls wishing to explore choral singing at a higher level. In Harmony has performed at our Carol Service in London, the Michaelmas Concert and the St John's Church Concert, as well as weekly chapel services, Sunday evensongs, Murray Music Moments, and a Hot Chocolate Concert this year.
As our flagship choral ensemble of Downe House, Prima Voce represents the senior choristers of the School and is an auditioned choir open to those in Upper Fifth (Year 11) and above. They were Finalists for the Barnardo's Choir of the Year Competition 2022. Pre-pandemic, they were winners of the competition unprecedently for two years’ running in 2018 and 2019. Indeed, Prima Voce are great supporters at Barnardo's music events, helping to raise money for the charity throughout the year. Last year, they enjoyed performing alongside The Cecilia Consort for a concert of Fauré's Requiem and an Evensong as part of the Newbury Spring Festival. Many of the girls are also studying other areas of music and performance at an advanced level.
Polyphonix is open to anyone in Lower Fifth (Year 10) and above who would like to experience the joys of choral singing. Polyphonix performs at the Carol Service, all major School concerts and at others events throughout the year. They perform a real mix of repertoire, ranging from Vivaldi to Adele.
Performing various works from classical to film music, Symphony Orchestra is our largest orchestra, involving musicians around Grade 5 and above. Symphony Orchestra also performs at the Michaelmas and St John’s Church concerts, as well as inspiring our young musicians at our Prep Schools’ Orchestral Fun Days. This ensemble gives the wonderful opportunity of feeling the buzz of a large orchestra!

 

Thanks

With thanks to Mr George Laing and the AV Team, Mrs Chloe Pincott and the Marketing Team, the Estates Department and the Music Department staff.

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