On Thursday November 28 the splendid chapel at Prior Park was filled by a happy audience of parents and friends of both Prior Park College and the Paragon School for a grand collaborative concert.
The College Orchestra under David Sackett opened with short works by Wagner and Morton Gould, followed by two impressive young soloists from the Paragon, Beatrice Pillow at the grand pipe organ (Paragon Ghost and Back to School, composed by her teacher, the College Director of Music Roland Robertson), and Millie Pope on violin (Dave Brubeck’s Take 5).
As a grand finale the stage was filled by the College Choral Society, together with no fewer than 80 Paragon students, all appropriately dressed in seafaring attire, to perform ‘Ahoy’, a colourful cantata written by contemporary English composer Alexander L’Estrange in celebration of the famous Tudor warship ‘Mary Rose’. A lively little folk band of students, staff and professionals provided the backing to this sparkling sequence of folktunes, sea-shanties and Tudor ballads which had the whole audience as well as the performers singing, clapping in time and even flourishing the occasional naval salute.
It was an impressive and happy occasion, maintaining a well-established tradition of musical collaborations between the two schools, and led from the front by the Directors of Music of the two schools, both choral specialists, Sarah Kettlety and Roland Robertson.