An extraordinary concert with David Hackbridge Johnson Posted - 20/09/2018


To start off the year on a high the Music department hosted a concert featuring David Hackbridge Johnson, an incredible musician who has composed over five-hundred works, including nine symphonies and an opera in Klingon!

The concert began with David playing the piano as part of a jazz trio, with Owen Price (Fifth Form) on bass and Gregor Thomson (Upper Sixth) on drums, followed by Amber Emson and Trevor Lui (both Upper Sixth) performing “The Beautiful Jasmine”, a piece for violin and piano arranged by David. The Chamber Choir then gave a moving premiere of “Pike Pool”, which was composed by David especially for the occasion. 

Upper Sixth Former Sam Hunt took on the role of interviewer in a fascinating discussion with David that gave a real insight into his life and some of his compositions. We were also treated to audio segments from his extraordinary Symphony No 9. Next up was the Big Band, playing “Now’s The Time” and “Are you Real?”, the latter featuring a virtuosic and at times comedic drum solo by David. 

As well as composing and perfor¬ming music, David is an accomplished poet, and three of his poems were featured in the concert, beautifully recited from heart by Sam Hunt. The concert finished with a violin jazz quartet, comprising David on the violin accompanied by fellow musicians, Tim Ellis and Kian Banisoleiman on guitars and Sam Rommer on the double bass, which delighted the audience with its performances of three gypsy jazz numbers. 

An evening that was, by turns, inspirational, educational and awe-inspiring, not least for the wonderful performances of the Reed’s musicians who played so flawlessly. Our gratitude is extended to David for his outstanding performances, generosity of spirit and also for the time and inspiration he provided to the pupils of Reed’s. Bravo!                                                                             
Chris Hedges, Music Department

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