Guildhall School Concert

Friday 23rd September 2016

Our Livery is a "Leadership Giving" level contributor to this excellent institution located in the Barbican. Enjoying a glass with other donors in a private room, the Principal, Prof Barry Ife, CBE welcomed us and explained that the students who were to perform for us had only met each other two weeks ago. You would never have guessed it - their talent, and enthusiasm shone through and they gave exceptional performances. The first half was given to the Guildhall Jazz Band and choir - the lead intruments swapping occasionally - there were at least four drummers, and a bank of seven guitars as well! They performed "21st Century Pastoral" by one of the professors, Iain Bellamy who soloed on Saxophone for much of it. It was good stuff - a bit above my intellect truth be told, reminicent of "Moolighting meets Kojack" to me, but then my muscial education stops around 1950! I was on safer ground in the second half when the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra & Chorus gave terrific renditions of Brahms' Academic Overture - with the rarely done choral finale; and a blistering account of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast - Walton wrote this when he was 27/8 and performed by such an energetic and talented group, it was almost overwhelming. the baritone, Christopher Cull, was an alumni of the place who's clearly on a northward trajectory, so it was rather a shame when, as all good things must, the evening came to an end. Our outbound journey had been blighted from first to last by London Transport, so an Uber was summoned, the first we'd had actually playing classical music, things are looking up!