St Cecilia Disney Spectacular

This week, whilst touring the school with prospective new music staff, I found myself in the Sports Hall explaining the set-up for the annual St Cecilia Concert to sceptical faces staring at a vast cold space in the grey light of a November day. In attempting to conjure up the image for them, I was transported back to last Thursday night, and the bright lights and sounds of the most extravagantly staged St Cecilia yet!

Monday 16th October was the day of The Walt Disney Company’s centenary, making the ‘Disney’ theme absolutely perfect for this year’s musical spectacular. Mr Reeves’ arrangement of the familiar Disney movie opening theme, played by the peripatetic teachers, was the perfect introduction for what was to follow. Farleigh’s 21 music ensembles grouped into 16 acts, presenting a feast of Disney classics.

Junior Choir topped the programme, as is customary, and was as engaging and as expertly directed and accompanied as ever. Talented young soloists rang out their lines clearly, and the whole choir entertained us with their Beauty and The Beast medley.

There then followed a variety box of Disney delights, from toe tapping numbers performed by the jazz bands, such as the Jungle Book favourites ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ (Five Foot Six) and ‘Bare Necessities’ (Green Shoots and Funky Fingers), as well as ‘Cruella de Vil’ from 101 Dalmatians, executed in style by The Thundering Herd, and a jaunty ‘Friend Like Me’ from Aladdin, played by SaxPack. Concert Band was not to be outdone, with their fabulous performance of ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ from Toy Story.

‘Let It Go’ from Frozen proved a popular choice, featuring as a magical standalone performance by Toot Sweet, as well as hiding in creatively arranged medleys performed by Pick Perfect and the massed strings. Several smaller groups also struck out alone, with Guitar Ensemble playing a beautiful arrangement of ‘Heigh Ho’ from Snow White, and Rockin’s Recorders’ expert rendition of the instantly recognisable ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, whilst Brass Works veered a little off-piste, playing ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ with great aplomb (not strictly speaking a Disney song, but could easily have been!).

No St Cecilia is complete without the bands; Close Harmony singers teamed up with Mix’Tape for ‘Touch the Sky’ from Brave, and Dynamix performed ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Moana. Senior Choir sang the penultimate number, ‘Dig a Little Deeper,’ from The Princess and The Frog, leaving Vinyl Tap! and the massed drummers of Rhythm Rascals and friends to perform the grand finale, ‘You’re Welcome!,’ from Moana to an appreciative crowd!

Huge thanks go to Mr Reeves and his team of music teachers who prepared their ensembles, arranged music for them, tuned and mended their instruments, and played alongside them. A big thank you too, to Christian and his team from Allthekit, who set up the stage, and ran the sound and ever better lighting. Massive thanks go to the maintenance team who set up and cleared away, and to the catering team for keeping everyone so well refreshed. The biggest round of applause, as ever, goes to the amazing 240 children who took part in the St Cecilia concert this year, making it the biggest and best one ever!

Teresa Henderson