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Xaverians past and present perform a stunning Easter Concert

The Xaverian College Music department celebrated Easter in style with a concert at the Royal Northern College of Music on Wednesday 27th of March. Students impressed with a pre-event jazz band, performing jazz classics on the mezzanine above the Carole Nash recital room. In the concert hall there were performances of traditional and modern classics. 

The concert was in front of a sold-out audience, which included Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham.

The concert started off with great energy and enthusiasm with the Big Band, directed by Mike Cavanagh, who performed The Chicken by A.J. Ellis and I Wanna Be Like You, arranged by J. Wasson.

Following the Big Band’s vibrant start to the concert, the college’s Latin Percussion Ensemble, directed by Laurie Agnew, performed An Exploration of Rumba, arranged by two year 13 students, Isla Hutchins and Alex Freeman. This was followed by La Vida Un Carnaval composed by I. Delgado.

The String Orchestra, directed by Duncan Reid, started their set with Elegy for Strings by Edward Elgar, it was conducted by Elsa Vass-de-Zomba, one of the department’s music mentors and alumni. The strings then performed Serenade for Strings – Movement 1 by A. Dvorak, conducted by Duncan Reid. 

The Flute Group, directed by Jennifer Dyson, then played two pieces, W.A. Mozart’s Die Zaubertflöte Overture and Flirty Flutes by J. Short.

Next on show was the Brass Band, once again directed by Mike Cavanagh, another Xaverian alumni. The first piece performed was Carnival of Venice by J.B. Arban. The solo euphonium part was performed by the college’s Young Musician of the Year Winner 2024, Richard Bond, he dazzled the audience with his beautiful tone and exhilarating technique. The Brass Band finished their set with You Can’t Stop the Beat by M. Shaiman.

The penultimate performance of the first half saw the Clarinet Choir, directed by Ben Pinto, perform Scheherazade – The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship, by N. Rimsky-Korsakov.

To end the half, the Concert Choir, directed by Ged Marciniak, gave a beautiful performance of Nunc Dimittis by P. Smith and a dynamic rendition of Higher Love by Jennings/Winwood, with several vocal soloists. 

The second half started off with a bang again with the Soul Band, directed by Luke Moulsher, the students performed Want You Back by C. Fry and Juice by Lizzo.

Then the Gospel Choir, with their debut concert performance, sang My Life is in Your Hands by Maverick City Music and K. Franklin, and He Reigns/Awesome God by K. Franklin. They are directed by Peniel Amegee, another former Xaverian student. 

Next to perform was the Sax Group, directed by Anthony Brown, who played Pirates of The Caribbean by K. Badelt and Greensleeves, arranged by M. White.

Before the last performance of the night, the Chamber Choir sang O Radiant Dawn by J. Macmillan and Shenandoah arranged by M. J. Trotta. The Chamber Choir are directed by another of the college’s alumni, Eleanor Jarvis. 

The Orchestra ended a wonderful concert with powerful performances of Dvorak’s New World Symphony – Movement 4, Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti, and John Williams’ Star Wars – A New Hope.

The audience gave a standing ovation at the end of another amazing concert.

Jersey Tambue

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