In Focus May 2012
Birkenhead School Choral Society‟s 40th concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall took place on 17 March this year. Each of the main works in the programme was a popular piece of music depicting the composer‟s attitudes to war and peace. It was delightful to have such an enthusiastic audience to hear them. Elgar‟s cello Concerto was played by Alice Neary, a young soloist who already has an international reputation, accompanied by the Liverpool Sinfonia. The hushed attentive atmosphere during her performance was testimony to her musicality and wonderfully evocative playing of Elgar‟s masterpiece, which was also his last major work. It is his personal lament for what WWI meant to his generation. In the second half, Choir and Orchestra performed „The Armed Man: a mass for peace‟ by Karl Jenkins, a modern work which was commissioned by the Royal Armouries to commemorate the Millennium. It is a dramatic work which incorporates a wide variety of musical influences. These range from a 15th Century musical theme, a Muslim call to prayers, plainsong, movements from a Mass and include words by Dryden, Swift, Kipling, Mallory and Tennyson. The music depicts moods ranging from menacing military marching to the uncontrolled cacophony of mass destruction and the desolation in the aftermath of war. The final section is the affirmation that peace is better than war and faith that change is positive and possible. It ends with a prayer for peace. On stage were almost 300 hundred performers - 63 orchestral players and 224 singers including Prep Choir, the Cantata Choir, School Chapel Choir and Birkenhead School Choral Society. The latter has put on at least one concert every year since 1980. It has performed most of the major choral works and done nine Gala Charity Christmas concerts which have raised over £70,000 for various charities, including the two Wirral hospices. This is a record of which we can be justly proud - a rare achievement for a school. Thanks, of course, are due to the many people supporting in the wings and back stage. However, very much centre stage is Graham Ellis, our Director since the Society‟s inception. He has led us in every one of the concerts since 1980. His musicianship, vision, sheer hard work, patience (and sometimes impatience!) and his unique sense of humour have made it all possible. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. 32 years worth of wonderful memories! Thank you, Graham. Mrs V MacLean, Rehearsal accompanist
Photo right: Year 9 students during a recent Geography field trip to Southport where they carried out environmental quality questionnaires and surveys.
Congratulations to Andrew Crosby who has been appointed Captain of Junior Golf at Caldy Golf Club.
The House Golf Competition will be held at Caldy G.C. on Sunday, 24 June at 1:30pm. The Competition includes a match of pupils v Staff, Parents and Old Birkonians playing for the Daniel Garforth Trophy. If there are any parents who wish to play in this match, would they please contact Mr McGrath on email@example.com J McGrath, i/c Golf
The School's magazine for May 2012.