3rd June 2019 — Audience members were dancing in the aisles when pupils from a Derbyshire school performed in the historic setting of Lichfield Cathedral alongside a celebrated multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer and his folk ensemble made up of dozens of students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Foremarke Hall, Repton’s Prep School, had welcomed Joe Broughton and his Conservatoire Folk Ensemble into school in the morning of concert day.
The 50 Conservatoire students set up in the Theatre in preparation for performances to Upper School, Pre-Prep and Lower School. With an emphasis on performance and communication, the energetic ensemble captivated all children with their spirited folk music of driving rhythms and up-beat melodic lines.
The Ensemble was then joined by our 60-plus musicians who were going to perform in the evening concert in Lichfield Cathedral, in aid of the Cathedral and ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’. Foremarke’s musicians were quick to pick up improvised riffs and enthusiastically played along with the students.
After lunch it was off to Lichfield. The Folk Ensemble opened the evening programme with Foremarke’s Concert Band, Chamber Choir, Wind Band and Orchestra playing a part, performing works which had been prepared for this occasion and other summer concerts.
The highlight came with the Birmingham students and Foremarke children, joining forces at the end to perform together. This got the audience on their feet and dancing enthusiastically as the musicians, led by Joe Boughton, played.
Joe Broughton has his own internationally renowned band The Urban Folk Quartet and has also played with everyone from Joss Stone to Fairport Convention. His compositions have been performed at The Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London and his workshops in performance and ensemble playing are legendary within the teaching community.
Following the concert, Sue Bloor, Director of Music at Foremarke, said: “The Joe Broughton Conservatoire Ensemble are a most energetic and truly inspirational group.
“This was a great concert for all ages and one that has given our younger children ideas about which instrument they would like to try and for others it provided a little more insight into what can be achieved on the instrument they already play.”
The £2,000 raised by the concert will be split between When You Wish Upon A Star and the upkeep of Lichfield Cathedral. When You Wish Upon a Star works to grant the wishes of children living with a life-threatening illness. Since 1990 it has granted over 17,500 wishes across the UK, as well as organising days out and treats for the children including to Lapland to see Santa Claus.