There were full houses three nights running in The Braid as the popular annual Ballymena Academy Spring Concert attracted packed audiences.
In his foreword to the three-night run, principal Stephen Black said the programme “reveals much variety and ambition, encompassing a rich and diverse range of styles and genres not often encountered in school concerts.”
Indeed, one innovative inclusion this time round, was a traditional Chinese song performed in Mandarin by the Academy Chorale which, Mr Black pointed out, evidenced the school’s relationship with the Confucious Instititute.
From Billy Joel acapella style to bin and bottle bashing percussion, orchestral classics to foot-tapping jazz, the outstanding musical mix added much to yet another highly polished programme.
Once again Senior Orchestra got proceedings underway each night with their selections from Holst’s Planets Suite. while the 150-plus members of Senior Choir were in fine voice to provide the traditional strong finish to both the first half and finale with a range of crowd pleasers including ‘Rather Be’ and ‘O Happy Day’.
The applause was never permitted to lose its momentum throughout the three hour nightly run and among those who pushed the clapometer to its limits was the Academy Chorale & Chamber Choir’s haunting rendition of ‘Bonny Woodgreen; Hypnotic Brass with ‘War from The Hunger Games”; Senior Wind Band’s rendition of the theme from ‘Game Of Thrones’; Takin’ Out The Trash who thrashed out some ‘Junkyard Madness’; the Stage Band of pupils and teachers with their jazzed up version of ‘Forget You’; and The Male Chorus featuring soloist Dylan Hamill with the Billy Joel classic, ‘For The Longest Time’.
Sterling performances were, however, put in by everyone who took part, both on stage and off. As Mr Black stated: “Concerts of this quality just don’t happen!”
Tribute was paid to the contribution made not only by the many young performers who gave their all but by staff both in continuity and musical direction and the team of student stage hands.
Review: Elinor Glynn