The event is one of the few in the School’s calendar to be entirely organised by the boys themselves. Each House is asked to prepare a programme consisting of two pieces: a solo performance (with optional accompaniment) and a piece performed by a larger ensemble of at least six performers.
This year, the School welcomed back Mr Iain Carnegie as the adjudicator, a former member of Whitgift staff who now works as an established film and television composer, and is currently Director of Music at Reed’s School.
Highlights of the evening included Krystof Kohout’s passionate rendition of Eugène Ysaÿe’s violin sonata Obsession, an arrangement of Major Lazer’s Cold Water with stunning vocals from Third Former Gibran Ahmed and Fourth Formers Josh Tikare and Archie Shuttleworth (Cross’s House), and Matthew Willson (Lower Sixth Form) playing his electric guitar behind his head during his performance of Van Halen’s iconic Eruption solo as part of the Dodd’s House programme.
However, it was Smith’s House who claimed victory on the night. Mr Carnegie said that Marian Bozhidarov (Upper Sixth Form) and Daniel Munks’ (Fifth Form) clarinet and piano performance of the jazz classic Misty was “astonishing” and “one of the best things I’ve ever heard”. Smith’s performance of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now was hailed as “wonderful”, featuring many performers on stage. Upper Sixth Form pupil Max Brown was responsible for the genius arrangement, as well as playing trombone and rapping!
Max Brown stated, “It was fantastic to claim victory, especially in a year where the standard was so high. Mr Carnegie’s comments were very enlightening, it was awesome to be given feedback by such a renowned and accomplished musician.”