A packed St Andrew’s Church, Bolam, was treated to a wonderful display of talent from Mowden Year 8 pupils on 19 March. This, the second Mowden Hall Spring Concert at the venue, was a true collaborative effort, with the entire year group contributing to the success of the evening, many in more than one capacity. Whether performing vocal or instrumental solos, readings and recitations, singing in the choir, making programme announcements or meeting and greeting the audience, every child was involved. Even the beautiful Spring-themed programme had been designed by the pupils.
From Freddie’s stentorian opening Pipes number to Sam’s dazzlingly virtuosic closing Violin solo, the concert flowed flawlessly. In a thoughtfully-constructed programme, the variety of moods and emotions communicated through the participants’ singing, playing or speaking held the audience’s attention throughout. Nancy had everyone laughing with her recitation of ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph; a few tears may have been shed during Isla’s solo song ‘Don’t watch me Cry’; a hushed intimacy was tangible during Mr Hampton’s rendition of Philip Larkin’s ‘Church Going’; and it was impossible to resist the infectious, toe-tapping energy of Matilda and Shannon’s ‘Charleston’ Flute duet. These offer only a flavour of the evening’s delights and all the performers should be commended for their skill, poise and courage.
It was a great treat for the Mowden Choir to renew its partnership with members of Bolam Choir, enabling both singers and listeners to enter a different aural world. The first of their two contrasting joint numbers, ‘Amazing Grace’, featured a hauntingly beautiful opening solo verse from James A. which threw into even sharper relief the richness and colour of the ensuing four-part choral sound. For an encore, the children performed Cindi Lauper’s uplifting ‘True Colours’ – and they certainly showed their true colours at Bolam.
After an hour of captivating entertainment, the inviting array of refreshments kindly provided by the Church was most welcome, and everyone returned home or back to school thoroughly satisfied. Thanks to the size and generosity of the audience, many of whom had travelled a considerable distance to attend, a handsome sum was raised from the retiring collection, to be divided between the two nominated charities, JDRF and the Bolam War Memorial Fund.
Congratulations to every member of the Mowden Year 8 for a superb effort, and thanks to everyone who contributed towards the concert in any way. I’m especially grateful to Mr Hampton, Mr Fowlds and Mrs Lord for all their input, to the peripatetic staff for helping prepare the soloists and to Bolam Church for once again welcoming us so hospitably.
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