December is a special time of year…where you want to be surrounded by your loved ones, getting in the Christmassy mood. This is exactly what the John Snow winter concert was about. On the 4th December, members of the college’s music society put on an excellent show, featuring a variety of instruments and songs, showcasing their musical talents.
When arriving, there was a buzz around the room – John Snow had never had a music concert before, so there was a sense of excitement lingering. People found a seat, surrounded by other members of the college, as well as the university. Everyone was eager to see what was in store.
The performance began with bang – the rock band immediately set the tone of the show, performing Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and I Bet You Look Good on the Dance floor by Arctic Monkeys. Starting off with two classic feel-good songs filled the room with energy. You could see the audience joining in with subtle nods of their heads or taps of their feet. The members of the band were able to not only put on a great performance for those who were watching, but were also able to showcase their musical abilities, on the drums, bass, guitar and through vocals.
After the band left the stage, the audience was intrigued to see what would follow. Next were two members of John Snow who played the clarinet. This did not disappoint. I presumed that much of the audience had never watched a clarinet performance before, but after watching the duet act, it shown skill, talent and a love for music. Continuing the concert, the jazz band performed next. The jazz band was an ensemble of saxophones, a piano and a bass guitarist. The band played three Christmassy songs, including the classic Silent Night. Saxophones are an amazing, but highly technical instrument to play, and the jazz band were able to showcase the classical beauty in which the instrument resembles.
The last act of the first half was a performance by a solo pianist, who performed O Holy Night. This may be a carol which less people know, however it did not seem to matter. The room was dead silent, listening to every note that was played, enjoying every moment.
The first half came to a close and the room was filled with a warm sense of admiration for those who had played and those who were coming up to play next. The interval was full of chattering members of the audience, expressing how much they enjoyed each act, as much as the one before.
The audience hurried back to their seats, waiting for the second half to commence. The next act that was greeted on stage, by the wonderful MC of the show, was the John Snow singing group. The singing group sang three songs, all appealing in different ways to the audience. The first two songs were not Christmas based, however, were two well-known songs, that got the audience humming along. The beauty of the singing group was you could tell, even from being sat in the audience, that the grouped loved to sing together, through the quick little smiles to one another between notes.
Once the applauds had settled, the violin ensemble was welcomed to the stage. I was most looking forward to this act – as I was curious how Billie Eilish and The Pogues would sound on the violin. The classic that is Fairytale of New York got audience members subtly swaying in their chairs, bringing out the Christmas joy in all. This ensemble featured four members of the college, who performed perfectly together. From this performance, you could see not only the dedication of these four people, but of all those who had performed at the concert, who had strived to put on an excellent show.
Next, a solo pianist came onto the stage and performed O Christmas Tree. Whilst there were multiple Christmas songs, the concert was not solely dedicated to this theme. Therefore, that is why the concert was referred to as the ‘Winter Concert’, which allowed the performers to have a wider selection of songs to play. After the talented pianist, came the wind band, which consisted of around a dozen members of the college, with multiple different instruments. They played a medley of different Christmas songs, including some of the top hits to some obscurer ones. Their last song was Miniature Overture, the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. The wind band performed this with precise execution, with each note working in harmony.
Last, but by no means least, the closing act was a solo singer, who performed Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – a song which has been sang by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and Sam Smith. It is a massive song to sing, however, the performer delivered. The flurry of musical notes, matched with the backing of a pianist, was the perfect closing of the show. It was heart-warming to watch.
By the end of the concert, I, as well as many others, were left in awe of the array of talent and dedication that was displayed. I have to say, that whether you performed in the concert or were helping back stage, you have done yourselves and the college tremendously proud. A special well done has to go to the President and exec members of the Music Society, as without them, there would not have been a performance. I cannot wait to see what comes next for the John Snow Music Society.