G-Live Awash in a ‘Symphony of Sound’

The American writer, Henry Miller, once said ‘There is a happiness which comes from creative effort. The joy of dreaming, creating, building – whether in painting a picture, writing an epic, singing a song or composing a symphony …..’, and his words were certainly put to the test a couple of weeks ago, when, on Wed 27th March, GCS created a spectacular.

 For Guildford County School, the ‘dreaming’ began almost a year before when GCS Director of Music, Mrs Caroline Gale, chose G-Live as the venue for their 2013 Annual Gala Concert. With an audience capacity of over 900 seats, this was no small dream, but with the experience behind her from previous successes at the Yvonne Arnaud and also the QEH on London’s South Bank, there was confidence in the air

 As a Specialist Music College, with a local and national reputation for its depth and breadth of musical repertoire, the plan was to showcase our wealth of choirs and ensembles … and so, ‘creating’ our own unique ‘Symphony of Sound’, the soundtrack of the school’s rich musical landscape began to take shape.

 With more than 350 pupils taking part, tight rehearsals and musical precision was key. Logistical planning then had to compliment and could have equally satisfied an invading battalion; the musical units, which efficiently made their way up Guildford High Street, became the ‘building’ blocks of the evening’s celebration.

The programme was all inclusive: announcements made by brass fanfares sat alongside soulful gospel; arrangements of Queen songs played by double reeds neighbored punchy big band numbers; emotive vocal duets contrasted with rousing ‘Billy Elliot’ anthems by 150 boys; solo instruments pleasantly contradicted funk. All genres, executed to perfection with charisma and confidence, were enthusiastically lapped up by the capacity crowd.

 Certainly the impressive mass choirs’ finale of ‘Something Inside So Strong’ brought smiles and tears in equal measure, and for some of the Sixth Form it marked a poignant climax to their own musical journey.

 Head Boy, Jack Nicole, remarked in a concluding speech that ‘throughout the highs and lows of school life, our entire collection of musical experiences and opportunities have given us an invaluable platform, not only to show our talents, but also to challenge our fears, to defy expectation and yet to simply be ourselves.’

His sentiments were reflected in the faces of many, as the obvious ‘happiness from this creative effort’, from this ‘Symphony of Sound’, was a glowing beacon, a sure sign that the power of music at Guildford County lives on.