Anna is a talented singer, pianist and violinist whose piece ‘Changing tides’ was inspired by works from the Romantic period, in particular, the String quartets of Elgar.
Her quartet was written in response to the ‘free’ composition A Level brief and was awarded full marks. This performance was recorded by The Cavendish String Quartet.
Anna is now studying Maths at Oriel College, Oxford and is a choral scholar at Queen’s College, Oxford.
This term our Senior Recital showcased all our GCSE and A level students performing their coursework – solos and compositions – to an extremely high standard. It is always great at this stage to hear the result of their hard work since the beginning of the course.
In addition, the audience were treated to wonderful performances from both String Orchestra, directed by Mrs Janet Janes, and to Chamber Choir, led by Ms Julia Mayall, accompanied by Mrs Anne Marie Bentall. Their programmes were performed later that week at the regional heat in Rochdale Town Hall of the national competition, Music for Youth.
The programme comprised two wonderful songs from ‘Sea Pictures’ by Elgar, arranged for String Orchestra by a former parent, Ms Adrienne Spilsbury and sung by Anna Townsend. In addition they performed some exciting arrangements of a Kodaly piece.
Chamber choir sang an eclectic mix of music, from the folk blues song, led by Annie Stedman, to a clever arrangement of the Beatles’ song ‘Blackbird’, finishing with the stunning 8 part ‘Ave Maria’, written for double choir by Gustav Holst – all sung from memory.
We wish both groups well as they hope to be selected for the competition final in Birmingham in July.
Please do listen to soundclips from this competition, on @AGGS_Music
All three pieces were taken from ‘Stolen Secrets’ by Fin Kennedy and are about the dark and sinister secrets we keep underneath our day to day lives. These were inspired by an experiment, in which a locked box was placed in a school, and into which pupils and teachers placed their darkest secrets. They combined elements of both humour and horror, performed in the style of Steven Berkoff, a theatre practitioner who experiments with pace and expression. They were absolutely fantastic!
“I really enjoyed watching the pieces. They were so different to what I expected, and I found it fascinating how they managed to make it both funny and scary at the same time. I thought they were all brilliant!”