On Tuesday, the curtain went up on Mr Mountford’s final concert at King’s, who writes:

‘The programme took its usual course, with a varied palette from our esteemed ensembles. The enjoyment on the faces of the pupils was palpable, most especially in Jazz Band, where saxophonists Alex and Mr. Johnson seemed to be daring each other to nail the next phrase, laughing as they played. The concert was blessed with over 20 Old Roffensians, and it was wonderful to reconnect with all of them over our shared love of music in a venue as special as Rochester Cathedral. I was delighted to count at least one OR from each of the last seven years, which made the evening feel ever more special.

The first half drew to a close with the first of our solos, from Hugh on the mighty cathedral organ, playing Saint-Saens’ finale from Symphony No. 3. Is there a cathedral with a better placed or more beautiful organ, with proportions, acoustic and warm light so perfect for performance? If there is, I haven’t found it yet – I doubt one could. We are so lucky at King’s to have use of such an amazing cathedral.

The second half began with the choir, augmented by many ORs, with a stunning opening solo from Chrystie. Then, the first of two surprise interruptions to mark my leaving: John Gardner’s Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day, which Miss Roux had organised conspiratorially. Anastasiia then brought us The Kiss of Life by Sade, a beautiful ballad which she accompanied herself on guitar. The evening flowed on with two heart-stopping duets: Elizabeth & Chris with The Prayer and then Francesca and Sarah with For Good from Wicked. Both of these had us in tears. Then onto William and his beautifully executed Spider and the Fly by Britten, before Nathan took to the stage on his A clarinet with Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op. 73, no. 3. Priya then brought us a stunning Venetian boat song by Mendelssohn on the very freshly and hastily tuned piano.

Speeches for leavers then proceeded, with a chance for us to convey our thanks and some fond memories about the wonderful young musicians that we are about to send into the world. We also bade farewell to Mr. Lloyd, Mrs. Rowley and Mr. Hewitt Jones, who have been instrumental in developing so much talent during their years here. A special mention too, to Chloe, Inigo, Nic and Nick, who weren’t able to be present for the speeches – you’ve each given a huge amount to music at King’s over the years and we’ll miss you.

Chris and Elizabeth then surprised me with two beautiful and very kind speeches, before Miss Roux and the team gave a hauntingly beautiful performance of Eric Whitacre’s Sing Gently. The evening closed with a grand performance of the Medway Hymn, the last movement of Thomas Hewitt Jones’s Regards from Rochester which sums up so much about my time here.

Having been seen seven Upper Sixth years through, and now becoming a leaver myself, it seems that the words of Sarah & Francesca’s duet echo most strongly: ‘we have been changed for good’.’

Please come along to hear the final Open Mic night on Wednesday 3rd July at 7pm in school hall. The bar will be open and entry is £5 with all money raised going to Cancer Research. We have a stunning line-up of acts, with MC’ing from Chester and Ludo – it’s going to be a night to remember.

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