Close House Music - commitment, creativity and huge capability Posted - 16/10/2018

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Involving all 140 Close boys, the House competition this year was more hotly contested than ever before with every performer, be they a soloist or a choir member, desperately trying to topple the unassailable Clapton who have made victory an annual tradition. 

In the first round the boys were divided into small House Bands; they performed with vivacity and flair, and the overall winner was Reedhams whose innovative arrangement of ‘The Saints Go Marching In’ was full of variety and intrigue. 

The second round was an exhibition of the most arresting solo talent. Third place was awarded to a musician whose indefatigable commitment and extraordinary talent can only be saluted. Thomas Sprackling (R. Putney) performed a piece of violin repertoire which one would expect to find in a professional recital with maturity and finesse. Second place was awarded to a pianist whose facility I have never seen in a person of his age - Luca Spadano (R. Putney) must be commended for his extraordinary virtuosity and unparalleled musicianship. First place, however, was awarded to a performer with the full package: beautifully expressive, moving, stylish, peppered with humour and packaged in gleaming showmanship; Ollie Alexander’s (Clapton) performance of a romantic standard married his wonderful voice with exceptional trombone playing. Bravo to all!

Perhaps the most exciting round consisted of the House Songs in which every member of the Close Houses performed. Mr Carnegie’s arrangements of Abba hits and energetic rock ’n’ roll songs were glittering and the Senior School small band who performed them were as sharp as a tack. The main event though was the singing; the unanimous spiritedness and glee with which the songs were performed was truly inspiring.

It is tempting to draw on a slightly trite cliché in saying that the true winners of the night were commitment, creativity and huge capability; but actually, it was another word beginning with C. Clapton! For the third year running! Although they won two of the three rounds, there was only a hair in it, with Royal Putney runners up once again. Can next year’s Close Houses break what is fast becoming an annual Reed’s tradition? Roll on 2019…!

Simeon Smith, Music Department

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