This term the Performing Arts Department has driven forward despite all the challenges presented by bubbles and technology! The pupils have valiantly stepped up, performing to the camera and a few members of staff instead of a packed Chapel or auditorium filled with encouragement from our usual wonderful audiences.

The St John’s Lunchtime Recital series has carried on in year groups, the latest of which took place on Thursday 19 November featuring Luke, James, Daisy, Ben and Jacob from the Upper Fifth. They played and sang in a fantastic range of styles from the Aladdin favourite Proud of your boy to Gershwin’s classic Fascinating Rhythm. Well done to all!

The Michaelmas Concert went ahead virtually on Thursday 26 November with the theme ‘Reflections in Water’ and featured a little of everything that the ensembles have been up to this term. The Jazz Band, Schola Cantorum, Lower School Choir, Swing Band, String Quartet, Chapel Choir and Sinfonia all performed around the School site. Pupils performed water themed tunes from Beyond the Sea to By the Rivers of Babylon, and from The Swan, played beautifully on the cello by Ali Wilson, to The Waters of Tyne sung angelically by Emilija, Ruby, Tajah, Ella and Esther from the Fourth Form of Chapel Choir. The concert culminated in a pre-recorded and layered up performance of Handel’s Water Music by all five year groups of Sinfonia. It was a marvellous triumph to hear snippets of our pupils’ progress this term and to see a live performance again demonstrating how well they have overcome the challenges.

A week later on Thursday 3 December, eight of St John’s most advanced instrumentalists stepped up to perform as soloists with a professional orchestra in the PAC Auditorium in the Concerto Competition. Judged by former Director of Music at RGS Guildford, Peter White, pupils performed a variety of works, from the little known Stamitz viola concerto to Handel’s harp concerto. Congratulations to Jimena, who won the prize with her spellbinding performance of Walton’s virtuosic violin concerto. Special mentions go to Cameron for his Strauss horn concerto and to Ella from Fourth Form on the bassoon, the youngest performer in the concert.