Dinner and Jazz

30 December 2016


One of the highlights of our musical year is always Dinner and Jazz. This year’s event proved to be a great and memorable evening. Guests were treated to a pre-dinner jazz rendition of ‘House of the Rising Sun’ in the Music Room. This was brilliantly conceived by Theo Hayes (Fourth Form, Chatham) on piano, Sean Carslaw Tricot (Fourth Form, Grenville) on drums and Finlay Sutherland (Lower Sixth, Grafton) on the trumpet.

During the meal our cabaret entertainment followed a new format. In the Marble Saloon, Miles Nottage led his Jazz Club with songs from: Bella Coldstream (Upper Sixth, Lyttelton), Lucy Sutherland (Lower Sixth, Nugent), Starzi Grafftey-Smith (Upper Sixth, Queen’s), Mali Aitchison (Lower Sixth, Nugent), Tash Woods (Lower Sixth, Queen’s), Max Campbell-Preston (Lower Sixth, Grafton) and Henry Gauvain (Lower Sixth, Temple). They all gave very accomplished renditions of their chosen songs.

Whilst the singers were performing in the Marble Saloon, the Music Room was entertained by Anastasiia Nazarova (Lower Sixth, Lyttelton) and Poppy de Salis (Fifth Form, Stanhope) playing solos on the piano. They were followed by a Jazz Ensemble coached by John Cervantes, one of our visiting jazz piano teachers. This group was fronted by Mina Haas (Lower Sixth, Stanhope), voice, and Lauren Taylor (Lower Sixth, Queen’s), flute, with Alice Pryse (Lower Sixth, Lyttelton) on the piano, with help from Mr Andrew on drums. Both groups then swapped rooms and performed their sets again, making sure no one missed out.

After dinner the entertainment was provided by the Big Band, who played two 40 minute sets, and Dave Richmond’s Jazz Combo. There was a welcome return to both bands by Alex McQuitty (Walpole 16) who, along with his brother Henry (Lower Sixth, Walpole) on drums and Lewis Bell (Upper Sixth, Grenville) on piano, provided a brilliant rhythm section. The more that people danced, the better the Big Band performed. It was probably the best playing that I have ever heard from them.

Many thanks must go to Geoff Higgins and the Catering team for such a fine meal and also to the House Staff for helping with transporting and setting up the equipment and staging in three different rooms. Finally most of all to Sarah Searle for all of her help in planning such an enjoyable evening. More photos of the event can be seen here.

Photos of the event can be seen here.

Nigel Gibbon, Head of Brass, Wind and Percussion