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Xaverian Christmas Concert

The Xaverian College Christmas Concert was held at the Royal Northern College of Music and was performed in front of a full house; including the Honourable Mayor of Manchester and the Bishop of Salford Diocese. The concert consisted of 125 Xaverian students, music staff, peripatetic staff, prospective Xaverian students and some of the college’s finest former pupils.

The evening began with the college big band, directed by Neil Bowden. They performed the ‘Theme from Sesame Street’ by Joe Taposo, followed by ‘Doin’ Basie’s Thing’ by Sammy Nestico and ‘The Chicken’ by Pee Wee Ellis.

Following this the flute group, directed by Jennifer Dyson, performed the ‘Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Felix Mendelssohn and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ by Danny Elfman.

The vibrant and flamboyant percussion group, directed by Joe Luckin, performed the uplifting music of Kevin Tuck – ‘And The Mountains Rising’ and ‘Tribal Beat Sound System’.

The jazz group stirred the audience into a festive mood with a ‘Christmas Medley’, arranged by their director Kyran Matthews.

The concert continued with the clarinet group, directed by Jessica Tomlinson, performing ‘Rialto Ripples’ by George Gershwin & Will Donaldson and the ‘Czardas’ by Vittorio Monti.

Neil Bowden then conducted the college’s brass band in a performance of the ‘Finale from Faust’ by Charles Gounod and ‘Schneewalzer’ (Snow Waltz) by Thomas Koschat.

Duncan Reid directed the string group in a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Violin Concerto No.3 in G Major (RV310)’.  Charlotte Sweeney gave a stunning performance of the solo violin part and she is the winner of the Xaverian Young Musician of The Year Competition 2018-2019.

The first half concluded with the college’s wonderful concert choir, directed by Ged Marciniak, which was made up of music and music technology students, non-music students and several staff. The choir performed excerpts from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ – ‘And The Glory of The Lord’, ‘But Who May Abide The Day of His Coming’; breathtakingly sung by the soloist Joshua Cheung, and the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus.

The second half opened with the chamber choir, directed by the college’s vocal tutor Thomas Hopkinson. They set a reflective, spiritual and seasonal mood for the half by performing under candlelight.  They sang ‘Candlelight Carol’ by Simon Mold and ‘A Cosmic Prayer’ by Carson Cooman.

Before the orchestra took to the stage the internationally acclaimed and award-winning A4 Brass Quartet performed the ‘Overture to Candide’ by Leonard Bernstein, ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Santa Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ by Springer and Loesser. A4 Brass are graduates from the RNCM and are taking the world by storm, they are resident at Xaverian College and one of their members is a former pupil of Xaverian and is one of the college’s brass tutors; Michael Cavanagh.

Andrew Levendis conducted the ensemble with an ambitious programme – ‘Festive Overture’ by Dmitri Shostakovich, ‘Sabre Dance’ by Aram Khachaturian and ‘Superman’ by John Williams.

To end the evening, the orchestra performed ‘A Christmas Festival’ by Leroy Anderson. The concert was a huge success and the audience gave a standing ovation to end the proceedings.

Our highly acclaimed Xaverian ensembles; already attracting media attention via their very own Xaverian Music Department YouTube channel.  To see there performances – click here 

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