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Fantastic to be together again: School’s Community Concert welcomes 150 guests

Around 150 local senior citizens attended Tonbridge’s annual Community Concert on Wednesday (27 April). 

All at the School were delighted to stage the concert once more: this is an event that has run for nearly 40 years, with just one break in 2021 owing to Covid. On arrival, guests were hosted by boys from the Tonbridge Community Action (TCA) volunteering programme, and all enjoyed sitting together and sharing stories and reminiscences.

The evening got off to a flying start with compères Eddie Adams (OH5) and Kit Rawlins (WW5), who kept everyone entertained with their well-pitched humour as well as their own superb singing performances.

The first half was classical and traditional in feel, with some fantastic small ensemble playing as well as moving solo performances. 

The Heifetz string quartet opened with a Rondeau by Chevalier de Saint-Georges. A wind quintet entertained with some Arnold sea shanties, three boys performed a fantastic rendition of the Piano Trio No.4 (the Dumky Trio) by Dvořák, and all enjoyed the Andante from Schubert’s Trout Quintet.   

Alastair Wu (MH4) and Aaron Lee (PH2) played the moving Praeludium by Shostakovich; Wilkie Hoare (WW5) and George Thomas (WH4) sang Finzi and Handel; Lucas Mulley impressed with the Tosca Fantasia by Giacoma; and Nicholas Samuel (WH4) closed the first half with a spirited rendition of It was a Lover and his Lass by Finzi.

The interval saw the ever-popular raffle, with over 20 donated prizes given away. As TCA boys served tea and cake, special awards were given to the guest who has lived in Tonbridge for longest (93 years) and the most senior guest (97 years), while there was a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for the senior citizens and boys whose birthdays fell closest to the concert. 

The senior strings opened the second half with Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, after which the evening moved more towards a more light-hearted feel, featuring numbers from musicals including Guys and Dolls. A clarinet quartet entertained with Die Kunst der Klarinette by Holloway, and the Heitetz quartet returned with some Gershwin.  

Finally, the Big Band got toes tapping with Fly Me To The Moon and ended the night on a high with Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.

Jutta Poxleitner, Community Action Co-ordinator, said: “The evening was a huge success, and we all look forward to welcoming our guests back for more concerts and events in the near future.

“Our thanks to the Music Department and performers, to the fleet of staff and parents who drove our guests to and from the concert, and to the TCA boys for hosting. 

“These boys have all chosen to spend their Wednesday afternoons volunteering in local schools, care homes and charities, and looking after our visitors at the concert is an important part of this year-round commitment.”  

  • Social Responsibility