On 31 January, the Band of the RAF Regiment were delighted to be invited to perform in the magnificent setting and acoustic of Hereford Cathedral as part of Hereford Cathedral School’s Music Outreach programme.
The Music Outreach programme is designed to bring together young musicians from many different schools across Herefordshire, to take part in music courses and through the staging of regular concerts.
Prior to the evening’s performance, an inspiring musical workshop was held to prepare the students for a joint performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story medley. This was led by our principal bassoonist, Chief Technician Hannah I’Anson, who worked with the young musicians to bring out the contrasting characters of the 5 songs.
The concert was conducted by the RAF’s Principal Director of Music, Wing Commander Piers Morrell, whose exciting programme covered music of mostly English and Russian origin, including Holst’s Dance of the Spirits of the Earth from his opera The Perfect Fool, March and Scherzo from Prokofiev’s opera The Love for Three Oranges, and the well-known Festive Overture by Shostakovich.
The concert was enhanced by performances from 2 choirs from Hereford Cathedral School: the Senior Chamber Choir, directed by 16-year-old Michael D’Avanzo, a senior music scholar at the school, and the Cantabile Girls’ Choir who were crowned Barnardo’s School Choir of the Year at the Royal Festival Hall in 2017.
The concert was extremely well received by the audience, one of whom was Air Commodore (Retired) Howson, who had this to say:
“The performance of the Band of The RAF Regiment tonight in Hereford Cathedral was absolutely superb. Everybody I spoke to at the interval and after the concert praised your excellent musicians, and the programme that you put together for us was memorable. It showed the Band at their best, and special mention must be made of [soloists] Senior Aircraftsmen Jeremy Bristow and Kevin Carberry who were simply brilliant. We thought the way you integrated the youngsters into the programme was also really good – what a great experience for them! Thank you especially on behalf of the retired RAF contingent there. We all thoroughly enjoyed it … and we all stood proudly during the RAF March Past.”
Air Commodore (Retired) Howson