Some 170 guests braved a blustery night on Thursday 7 February to attend the hugely popular Community Concert at Tonbridge School.
Senior citizens were collected by fleets of volunteer staff and parent drivers, and brought to the 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.
Expertly and humorously compéred by Charlie Thurston (JH4), the audience was treated to a fun and varied programme. The Deputy Mayoress of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Jill Anderson, co-hosted this annual event, which is run is by the Tonbridge Community Action (TCA) team.
The evening began with younger boys in the Concert Band playing toe-tapping numbers from films including The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean and Mamma Mia.
Ben Burgess (WW4) treated the audience to the challenging Cat and Mouse by Copland, followed by some beautiful cello playing from Jonny Percival (MH5) and a Bach Gavotte by Jason Wu (FH3). The first half finished with a range of choral work, featuring Wilkie Hoare (WW2), Harry Mobbs (WH4), Jamie Davidson Grear (PS5) and Santino Zapico (CH5).
The interval saw a raffle and prizes: one lady won the contest for ‘greatest number of grandchildren or great-grandchildren’ with an impressive 28. A 97-year-old lady was declared the most senior guest, and the whole audience sang to wish another guest, Joan, a very happy 90th birthday.
The second half opened with Alex Trigg (CH4) performing the jolly Sortie by Wély on the Big School Organ. Jeremy Lau (MH5) played a beautiful Handel Adagio on the oboe, Sherman Yip (HS3) impressed with an aptly-named Bach Presto, and Matthew Barker (PS5) produced some fantastic Grovlez on his saxophone.
Singing returned with the hilarious Ivor Novello And her mother came too (Ben Sibbald FH3), and Ieuan Williams (JH3) gave a moving performance of We’ll gather Lilacs. Finally, compére Charlie brought the house down with Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington by Nöel Coward.
The evening was rounded off in spectacular fashion by the Big Band and a selection of numbers including Blues Brothers, Uptown Funk and Soul Man.
Tonbridge Community Action Manager Juliet Burnett said: “Our Community Concert is a lovely occasion when boys, school staff and our guests can enjoy music and each other’s company. I’d like to offer huge thanks to all who contributed to making it such a memorable event once more, including our musicians and all the staff and parent volunteers.”
Pictures by Clair Miller.