“The best night of the year” was the verdict from one of the senior citizens who attended the school’s Community Concert.
More than 180 guests braved a cold night on Wednesday 7 February to attend the hugely popular annual event, run by the Tonbridge Community Action (TCA) team.
Senior citizens were collected by fleets of volunteer staff and parent drivers, and brought to Big School for an evening’s entertainment. Throughout the night the guests were looked after by the many Tonbridge boys who carry out regular volunteer work in the community.
Compered by Head of School Matthew Hayes (OH5), the audience was treated to a varied programme. The event was opened by younger boys in the Concert band, who performed numbers ranging from film scores to The Muppet Show theme, ending with a disco medley that had guests dancing in their seats.
The music then turned a little gentler, with some exquisite Schubert and Schumann from Jamie Davidson Grear (PS4). Saint-Saëns was beautifully played by Jeremy Lau (MH4), while Sherman Yip (HS2) impressed with his Debussy Prelude. The first half was rounded off by a string quartet performing music by Mendelssohn.
The interval saw a raffle and prizes: one gentleman won the contest for ‘greatest number of grandchildren or great-grandchildren’ with an impressive 24, while a 94-year-old gentleman was declared the most senior guest.
The second half opened with Alex Trigg (CH3) playing Gershwin. Sean Yap (PS4) impressed with his Panis Angelicus, Guy Sharp (PH5) received a standing ovation from several guests who clearly enjoyed his take on John Coltraine, and Owen Yap (HS4) treated guests to a traditional folk tune Liuyang River.
The evening was rounded off in spectacular fashion by the Big Band and a selection of numbers which again had guests tapping toes, in particular at an impressive drum solo from Oliver Lowres (WH3).
The Mayor and Mayoress of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Roger Dalton and Mrs Hazel Dalton, co-hosted the event.
Tonbridge School’s Community Action Manager Juliet Burnett said: “I’d like to offer huge thanks to all musicians, music staff, TCA boy hosts, and staff and parent volunteers, who once more made this such a fantastic night for all.”
Picture by Clair Miller.