This year marks the twentieth year of the Dean Close Music School so to mark the occasion, a special concert was held in the Prince Michael Hall given by ODs, current members of the School, the Carducci Quartet and music teachers.

The evening began and ended with the Carducci Quartet performing the 1st movements of string quartets by Mendelssohn and Debussy. The Carducci came to Dean Close in 2011, the impact of which has been incredible, particularly on our chamber and orchestral music, and the passion and verve of their playing is simply inspirational.

Current pupils Louis Morford (violin) and Hugo Till (saxophone) gave us two very different performances – Hugo’s was a spellbinding and atmospheric rendition of contemporary composer Amy Quate’s Light of Sothis whilst Louis’ Danse Espagnole by De Falla was virtuosic and exciting.

The central item of the evening – the 1st movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no.3 in G – involved pupils, the Carducci, full-time and visiting music teachers who joined forces to tremendous effect.

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome back ODs Ashok Gupta (Dale 2006), Henry Neill (Brook Court 2007) and Brenna Tin (Turner Hall 2016) to play and sing in this prestigious concert. Brenna is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music, whilst Henry and Ashok are pursuing musical careers, both undertaking recitals at the Wigmore Hall in 2018.

Brenna’s playing of the Schubert A major Sonata was refined and beautifully poised, while Ashok perfectly captured the humour and capriciousness of several Beethoven Bagatelles. Henry absolutely wowed us with a mixture of Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Poulenc, injecting incredibly vitality and humour into his singing.

The concert was a lovely way to celebrate and represent the achievements of past, present and future musicians that pass through the doors of our magnificent building.