On Monday 5 March, narrowly missing ‘Snowmageddon’, Peter and Rohan were lucky enough to take part in Radley College’s first ever Schools’ Piano Extravaganza, an extension of the College’s own biennial event.
The boys were met with the awesome sight of seven Steinway grand pianos arranged in a semi-circle in Silk Hall, awaiting 40 pianists from years six to eight. The players then spent the day rehearsing two pieces each especially arranged in 21 parts – the Dr Who theme and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – culminating in an afternoon concert. Peter and Rohan were among six extra-brave players who volunteered to learn an extra piece during the day – A Spoonful of Sugar – with just half an hour’s practice.
The players did exceptionally well, in a feat that required not just excellent musicianship but also careful focus, listening skills and teamwork. Performing without a conductor, and unable to see each other, this was even harder than it sounds! Rehearsed by the inspiring Head of Instrumental Music at Radley, Anthony Williams, and his crack squad of piano teachers (performing the musical equivalent of herding cats), all 40 performers rose to the occasion and played brilliantly.
They were also treated to a performance from a quartet of advanced Radley pianists, including OE music scholar Kevin, playing Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins – a very inspiring glimpse into what the future may hold for them as performers!
Huge thanks go to Anthony Williams and Radley College for this unique and exciting opportunity