This year’s Spring Concert was a little different in that Mr Cuddy, Head of the Music Department, was off sick for several weeks before the concert, and was unable to attend the evening itself. The whole RSD community wishes him well and that he will make a full return to health. His absence meant that Miss Clarke was almost solely responsible for organising all the musical items, and many thanks must be extended to the other members of staff that contributed to making the evening a success, in no particular order: Miss Anderson, Miss Chestnutt, Mrs Watt, Mrs Jackson, Mr Clingan, Mr Wheeler, and the pupils and teachers of Charities Committee.
The RSD Band opened the evening with a lively performance of the ‘Dam Busters March’ from the film The Dam Busters, composed by Eric Coates. This is a piece that many members of the band were already familiar with as it is one of the pieces studied for GCSE Music, which made the process of getting to grips with the piece a little easier. The Strings Ensemble then played ‘Palladio’, a dramatic piece by Karl Jenkins,with Max Patterson (Year 12) also accompanying on the drumkit to emphasise the rhythm of the piece.
Following the success of the Rock Band from last year’s Spring Concert, the group were back on stage with a blues piece called ‘The Thrill is Gone’, and Chamber Choir was up next with ‘One Day More’ from Les Misérables. The choir consisted of eight Senior pupils singing in complex four-part harmony that beautifully recreated the famous piece.
Junior Choir sang ‘Always There’, and then a new ensemble made its debut this year: the Jazz Band. Harry Hayes, Rebekah Needham, Joshua Thompson and Jessica Wylie, all Year 14, performed a piece called ‘Birdland’, improvisation and all!
The Senior Choir gave a heartfelt performance of ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman, with solos from Jorja Wilson (Year 14) and Jamie Creaney (Year 11). Jamie and Jessica Wylie then sang a duet of ‘Streets of London’ by Ralph McTell. Jamie was back on stage playing his guitar and the audience made sure that their appreciation of the performance was known!
Harry Hayes played a flute solo of ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by Frank Sinatra. Actin Au and Isaac Leung were back on stage with another duet, followed by ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat’ from this year’s school musical Guys and Dolls. This particular number was an audience favourite during the run of the musical and everyone was delighted to see Jessica Wylie back on stage as Nicely-Nicely Johnson.
Siena Fenton and Siân Morris, both in Year 14, performed a duet of ‘What Is This Feeling’ from Wicked, followed by a performance from Junior Drama of a poem about Daniel in the lion’s den.
Last and certainly not least was the annual tradition of the Year 14 Leavers’ Tribute. Once technical difficulties had been solved with the help of John Ryan, and Alex Talbot stalling with some stand-up comedy, Year 14 took to the stage and sang a rendition of ‘Thank You For The Music’ by ABBA, with words customised by Rebekah Needham to fit the theme of the musical experience at RSD and showing much-deserved appreciation for Miss Clarke and Mr Cuddy. Alongside the song, there was a video featuring karaoke-style lyrics that was filled to the brim of photos past and present of Year 14 participating in the Music Department, and of course there were a few of the teachers as well! Thanks must be extended to Joshua Thompson for putting this video together. Once the song had ended, Rebekah Needham and Jessica Wylie gave short tributes to each teacher, and needless to say there were more than a few teary eyes both on the stage and in the audience!