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Shakespeare in Symphony: Boys perform in orchestral concert 

More than 50 Tonbridge boys took their places in the School Symphony Orchestra for a concert on Friday evening (19 November).

Play on: Shakespeare in Symphony saw an hour-long performance of pieces by Walton, Nyman, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev. The orchestra, conducted by Mark Forkgen, Director of Music, played to a hugely appreciative audience.

Boys displayed their talents in all the sections of a full symphony orchestra, including violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, timpani and percussion.   

The concert featured Walton’s spectacular music for Olivier’s classic film version of Henry V; Michael Nyman’s mesmeric film score for Prospero’s Books; Mendelssohn’s famous incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Prokofiev’s stirring and equally renowned Romeo and Juliet.

The Symphony Orchestra concluded Tonbridge’s Autumn Season of Shakespeare-themed musical performances. The four-part ‘Play On’ series this term, featuring boys and staff, has included Shakespeare In Chapel: Organ And Brass; Shakespeare In Song: Solo Vocal Music; and Shakespeare On Stage: Opera and Musical Theatre.
Mr Forkgen said: “This was our first Symphony Orchestra concert since November 2019, so to play music of such variety and complexity was a tremendous achievement. Nothing quite matches the visceral experience of a full symphony orchestra in Chapel.”

The latest Good Schools Guide wrote about Music at Tonbridge in glowing terms. Its comments included: “Wide range of orchestras, bands and ensemble groups for all musical styles including flourishing jazz and pop groups and thriving choral music. Numerous opportunities to perform … Octagon concerts feature a different instrument each week.” 

* The School Play, Shakespeare In Love, runs between Tuesday 23 and Saturday 27 November in the EM Forster Theatre