Musicians go solo

The KEVI school community orchestra and school choir are holding a joint concert with the Newcastle Cathedral Grils choir in Newcastle later this month. Pictured are Jonny Foster playing the piano and Rachael Steel playing the violin who are both soloists.
The KEVI school community orchestra and school choir are holding a joint concert with the Newcastle Cathedral Grils choir in Newcastle later this month. Pictured are Jonny Foster playing the piano and Rachael Steel playing the violin who are both soloists.
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A GROUP of Morpeth musicians will take to the city stage later this month.

And two members of the King Edward VI School Community Orchestra are looking forward to playing major solo pieces at the joint concert with the Newcastle Cathedral Girls Choir.

The Choral & Orchestral Masterpieces will also include the KEVI School Choir and all three groups will perform sections of Jenkins’ The Armed Man Choral Suite and Handel’s Zadok The Priest.

Sixth formers Jonathan Foster and Rachael Steel will be displaying their talents by taking on Grieg’s Piano Concerto and a Franck Violin Sonata respectively.

Jonathan, who lives in Kirkhill, started piano lessons 11 years ago and he has achieved a diploma for the instrument. He will also be playing the clarinet in another part of the concert.

“It’s a difficult piece that lasts half an hour, so I’ve been practising it since last summer,” said the 18-year-old.

“It covers the full range of the piano and I’m really looking forward to performing it on the night. Everyone will recognise the music, probably from Morecambe and Wise.

“I will be studying engineering at Cambridge University, but I’ll be looking to carry on with my music by joining a group or society when I’m down there.”

Seventeen-year-old Rachael has performed violin pieces across Europe and in the USA with KEVI and the Northumberland County Music Service. She has a distinction at grade eight.

And the Hepscott resident received a funding boost this week as she will be this year’s recipient of a £250 Morpeth Music Society scholarship. The money for the annual bursary comes from the will of Dr Eileen Bowler, former county councillor for Morpeth North and governor at KEVI.

For the sonata, she will be accompanied on the piano by music teacher David Gledhill.

Rachael said: “I’ve played some solos before, but I always feel a mix of nerves and excitement before a big concert.

“It’s a very dramatic piece of music which the audience will know and hopefully they will enjoy our performance.

“I also play the flute and piano, but the violin is my favourite instrument.”

The other compositions that will be played or sung by the KEVI groups on the night include You Raise Me Up and the Hungarian March from Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust.

The conductors will be KEVI Head of Music Robin Forbes, Assistant Head Heather Harrison and David Stevens, Director of the girls choir and Sub-Organist at Newcastle Cathedral.

Mr Forbes said: “David was the organist at our carol service and when we got chatting afterwards, we both agreed that it would be a good idea to bring the groups together for a concert. Those who come along can expect to hear some very famous music that will be played with great skill, energy and enthusiasm in a venue which has fantastic acoustics.

“By having the support of the orchestra’s adult members and the cathedral girls choir, we will be covering a repertoire which most school concerts don’t cover, but the evening will also highlight our talented students. I’m sure that Rachael and Jonathan will impress the audience with their performances.”

The event will take place on Saturday, March 24, in St George’s Church, Jesmond, Newcastle, from 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced £7.50 for adults and £4 for KEVI students and children under 18. They can be bought from the school’s general office on 01670 515415.