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The Charter School

North Dulwich

The Charter School Orchestra on stage at Music For Youth Finals

The Charter School Orchestra plays at the Music For Youth UK Finals in Birmingham 

The Charter School Orchestra took to the stage at the National Finals of the Music For Youth UK competition in Birmingham on July 7th. 

Francis Winston, Director of Music describes the excitement.....

The venue was magnificent and awe inspiring, we were led to the Green room to await our performance slot. Through the wall we could hear Dulwich Prep Symphony Orchestra blasting the hall with the magnificent sound of Dvorak's Slavonic dance, we looked upon each other in awe wondering if we would be able to create such a wall of sound. They ended with a medley from the tried and tested favourite, 'The Sound of Music' to rapturous applause.

Following this fierce introduction came Egglescliffe School Symphony Orchestra, who ended with a powerful and robust version of Beethoven's Symphony no 1... the bar had firmly been raised and set.

We spoke with each other and remembered all we had to do was be ourselves, remember that we were good and that's why we were there...

Next came Impington Village College Orchestra with a slick and stylish tribute to Henry Mancini, followed by the classic - Themes from 007.

At this point came our call to take to the stage.

TCSO were in quietly confident mood, unlike their conductor and leader who found himself parched, excessively tired but quietly focused.

With a strong confident opening of Beethoven's unmistakeable Fifth, Temi started the rhythm and we were in flight!

The string section, expertly led by Martha, began to own the stage and love their sound, the clarinets were in feisty mood, the flutes led by Isobel danced with style in jazzy motion and Luke played the ivories with poise, style and elegance.... The Charter School Orchestra were here and had something different  to say. 

Playing with verve and joyful but accurate execution, cascading strings, commanding cellos with Clara at the helm, they rose and fell with the conductors wand...we were one, together in this arena, in this moment.

Walter sang out his trumpet solo like Donald Byrd, and Miles Davis, sassy, cool and understated, yet brilliant. Louiza followed this with punch and funk, 'I'm having a ball!' her sax rang out, whilst Joey, playing the anchor role kept a solid funk groove.

We ended bold, tight, and together.... now, we had to ..Go The Distance.

Once again the strings began like the cavalry charge at a slow and measured trot in formation, setting the scene. The clarinets led by Kitty and the saxes boldly proclaimed the opening theme of struggle above the strings, the trumpets led by Tessa then took charge and the strings returned with the love theme and took flight with Alfie, bravely playing Timpani drums for the first time, claiming his moment, sending thunderbolts across the stage.... A moment of repose and quiet whilst Luke played the delicate interlude before the soaring emotional love them returned in swathes...

The triumphant trumpets rose to announce the end with power and poise, instruments pointed to the air and Alfie shot another thunderbolt to sign off our performance.

We came, we saw, we played (boy did we play) and they loved it!

As one of the judges said ...'Charter brought fun, enjoyment, infectious energy and attention to detail, with an ending that was bold and triumphant'.