The Hills are Alive with the Sound of ....Hallelujah!


It was a cold crisp evening on the cusp of spring.  The icy winds propelled us uphill to St Mary’s Church, Harrow-on-the-Hill.  

Once inside, we were welcomed by the gentle warmth of the lights, conversation buzzing with excitement from our eager audience of parents and friends from the two schools and the anticipation of the Northwood College girls and the John Lyon boys. 

The audience’s murmurs ‘diminuendoed’ to silence.  Our conductor, Mr McElwaine, confidently approached with complete and utter faith in our orchestra, and so it all began.

Our first piece was Symphony No. 7, Second Movement, composed by Beethoven.  The expressive and serene sounds calmed our nerves and gently eased us into the next intense piece of ‘Dance of the Knights’, composed by Prokofiev.  This piece, most commonly associated with ‘The Apprentice’, created a flurry of emotions. The threatening beginning discordant notes sent a reverberating chill through the church and there was plenty of exquisite and skilful playing across the sections of the orchestra, resulting in well-deserved applause.

The three jazz pieces that followed (‘Doin’ That Thing’, ‘Better Git It In Your Soul’ and ‘Red Baron’), played by our superb joint band with spectacular solos, provided a change in the mood and a more relaxed pace.

A brief interval did not prepare us for the top As that we were going to encounter on our journey through Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Mr Jones. Nevertheless, the soloists and chorus showcased their talents and performed with such enthusiasm that the audience was fully immersed in the music. The glorious Hallelujah chorus brought the evening to a triumphant close. The extensive rehearsing had been worth it and had resulted in an evening of enjoyment.

I would to thank the Music departments from both schools for giving us the opportunity to perform such magnificent pieces in a beautiful setting.

by Daivi Shah, Year 10

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