Young musicians from Crosby school take to the Philharmonic stage

Talented young performers from a Crosby school took to the stage at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall to showcase their musical skills.

More than 250 pupils from St Mary’s College and Preparatory School took part in the school’s annual Festival of Music at the prestigious concert hall.

The concert featured a wide range of musical ensembles including St Mary’s award-winning symphony orchestra, symphonic wind band, stage band, lower school choir, chamber choir and preparatory school concert choir.

The compere for the event was popular former BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, and the ensembles were conducted by St Mary’s Director of Music Andrew Byers, and his colleagues Colin Johnston and Joanne Booth.

The concert featured an ambitious and eclectic repertoire from different periods and around the globe which took the audience in the Philharmonic on a musical journey from Brahms to the Beatles.

Highlights included movie music by John Williams from Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and musical theatre selections from hit shows Wicked and Six.

Audience members were also able to enjoy such diverse musical treats as the finale to Beethoven’s Symphony No 5, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and the tone poem Pines of Rome by Respighi (all performed by the College Symphony Orchestra), and the soulful Let The River Run by Carly Simon (performed by the Preparatory School Concert Choir).

The soloists at this year’s concert were Victoria McKinley-Smith who performed the Molto Allegro from the Clarinet Sonata by Saint-Saens, and pianist Juliette Duncan who played Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen.

Speaking after the concert, director of music Andrew Byers, said: “This is the 23rd time that we have staged our Festival of Music at the Phil, and I can pay this year’s performers no higher tribute than to say they maintained the exceptional standards set by their predecessors.

“This reflects both their musical skills and the incredible amount of effort they all put in to preparing for the concert, and they rightly received a wonderful ovation from the audience at the end of the evening.”

St Mary’s College principal, Mike Kennedy, added: “Tonight’s concert was the product of many months of dedication and hard work by our pupils, and the teachers and parents who support them.

“I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding contribution that has been made by everyone involved in the event.

“At St Mary’s we believe that music is a wonderful vehicle for developing students beyond the purely academic, and shaping their characters and personalities in new and often surprising ways.”

With the Philharmonic concert now over students will turn their attention to the other highlight of the St Mary’s pre-Covid musical calendar, the Proms in the Park event.

The music and fireworks extravaganza will take place for the first time in four years at the school’s Blundell Park playing field on Saturday 8 July.

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