The Sounds of Middle School

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There was something for everyone at last night’s Middle School concert at the University of Victoria. Every student in the school took part. Memorable pieces in the choir segment under the direction of Duncan Frater, with Jane Edler-Davis accompanying, included Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Every Mountain,” featuring four soloists; “Who Can Sail,” beautifully performed in two parts with clear diction by the Grade 7 Choir; and “This Used to Be my Playground” by the Grade 8 Choir.

Appearing on stage in its first concert was the Grade 6 Beginner Band which opened with the descriptive march “Gettysburg.” With reference by band director Ian Farish to the trolls in the recent Middle School production of King of Elfland’s Daughter, the Grade 7/8 First Year Band closed its set with “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” A highlight from the Grade 8 Advanced Band was the Czech folk song “Walking at Night.”

To the delight and appreciation of fellow students, the Middle School Jazz Band played two pieces: “Paper Moon” and “Soul Man” with excellent trumpet and sax solos. The Grade 6 String Ensemble, now in its third year, opened the final segment of the concert confidently with the Allegro from Symphony #4 by William Boyce. This was followed by William Hofeldt’s “Toccatina.”

A powerful opening by the cello and bass section of the Grade7/8 String Ensemble introduced Romanian Dance (Joc Cu Bata), a piece originally written for piano but transcribed for orchestra. Following the Capriol Suite (Pavane and Basse Danse) by Peter Warlock, we were transported into a Japanese garden, with costumes and sets provided by Mitsuko Uranaka and retired Japanese teacher Eiko Larsen. Assisted by two students who set the mood reading a short verse in Japanese, which was then translated, strings director Mary Smith conducted a beautiful interpretation of “Japanese Lullaby.” All too soon the concert came to a very satisfactory conclusion.

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