Oakham Music Day: Travelling through time!

09 Oct 2014

On Tuesday some of Witham’s choristers and string players attended Oakham School’s Prep School Music Day. We had great fun learning songs and pieces together with children from loads of other schools, in the School Chapel and in Oakham Castle. The singers sang ‘Pastime with Good Company’ by Henry VIII, three nonsense songs from a suite called ‘Calico Pie’ by Nicholas Maw, a beautiful commemorative piece ‘For the Fallen’ with solo trumpet and the crowd-pleasing ‘You raise me up’.

The strings tackled a brand new piece commissioned for the day, written by Old Oakhamian Danny Saleeb. It used the ancient tune Greensleeves (also purportedly by Henry VIII!) in a time travelling story, so we played it in variations including a Medieval one, a Baroque one, a Classical one and a John Cage-inspired one (with lots of shushing!) The strings also helped to accompany ‘You raise me up’. In the concert at the end of the day we also heard the Oakham Chapel Choir singing a very complicated five-part madrigal, and the Oakham Chamber Orchestra performed the Finale from Holst’s ‘St Paul’s Suite’, which was written for pupils at the famous girls’ school where he taught.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day (especially the delicious lunch in the Barraclough!) Many proud parents enjoyed the final concert, and the Witham performers did us proud. Well done to all for your achievements on the day, and many thanks to Miss Hope and Mrs Atkinson for helping!

MHF