King Edward’s Senior Orchestra joined the Bath Philharmonia to perform to over 250 people on Tuesday evening at a glittering Gala Concert at the Guildhall in Bath.

The joint, 100-strong orchestra took audience members on an enchanted musical journey, with repertoire pieces including Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite), and Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet, as well as Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus Op. 61 and Howard Shore’s Oscar-winning score, Symphonic Suite from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers film, based on J.R.R Tolkien’s books.

Commenting on the chosen repertoire, Jason Thornton, Music Director of Bath Philharmonia, said, “Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye, is one of the most ravishingly beautiful compositions of the 20th century. However, it was originally conceived as a set of piano pieces designed to show off the musical talents of children. Similarly Rautavaara wrote Cantus Arcticus for a youth orchestra, as it gives every player a chance to shine as solos are passed between instruments. I feel these pieces exemplify the essence of the relationship between Bath Philharmonia and KES: to discover, explore and perform music to the highest possible standard together, side-by-side.”

The Gala Concert also included three solo performances by Year 13 pupils, Will Lambert, Lottie Phillips and Gemma Roper.

Speaking about his performance, piano soloist, Will said, “Being involved in the Senior Orchestra is an integral part of my life at KES. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed supporting my fellow musicians and experiencing new repertoire throughout the many rehearsals and concerts we have undertaken. To be invited to perform as a soloist, select a movement from a concerto of my choice, and to be accompanied by the prestigious Bath Philharmonia at this year’s Gala Concert, has given me the unique opportunity to stretch my musical ability.

Vocal soloist, Lottie added, “Music has played an enormous role during my life at KES. Whether as a percussionist in the KES Senior Orchestra or singing with KES 24 and KES Soul, the Music department has introduced me to a wide range of musical genres, from madrigals to funk! I have been lucky enough to play as a percussionist in the last two Side-by-Side projects with Bath Philharmonia, gaining invaluable advice from the one-to-one workshops, as well as experiencing the thrill of performing alongside a professional orchestra. To perform as a vocal soloist at this year’s Gala is a memorable end to my time at KES.”

Gemma, also a vocal soloist, said, “Whether it’s playing the clarinet in various ensembles, recording a CD with KES Soul or singing at Founder’s Day, I have experienced a full range of genres and repertoire in the last seven years. Some of the many highlights have included singing in the Carol Service every year, with my last, emotional Carol Service this year! Over the years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to sing in many of Mr Boden’s pieces. To sing Pamoja! in last year’s Gala Concert was undoubtedly one of my favourite KES musical experiences. To be able to sing at the Gala Concert, performing with an exceptional orchestra, is a wonderful way to mark my last concert at KES.”