Marymount’s Chamber Concert

Even the pandemic cannot silence the musical talent overflowing in Marymount!

On Wednesday, 25​th​ November, the first ever virtual Marymount Chamber Concert drew to a close, with a warm blessing from Mr. Marcou.

Prior to the spread of the coronavirus, the Chamber Concert had always been held in the Main HouseParlour. Parents and students were invited to enjoy the stunning performances by their daughters and peers. Typically, the performers were limited to the members of the school choir, the school orchestra, and individual instrument players chosen by the music teacher.​​This year, however, anyone who was interested was welcome to participate in the performance. The genre of music was generally based around classical music as it showed respect to the calm and spiritual atmosphere in the Parlour.

First of all, the welcoming of a new teacher in the Music Department, has brought in a new and wide range of performances into the community. Mr. Swift describes himself as a piano player andHammond organist primarily, but he also enjoys performing on a variety of band instruments. His passions are Jazz music and Hip-hop, but he enjoys listening to most styles. He loves to teach his subject and says that it is clear that Marymount, with its immensely talented and interested musicians, provides a wonderful venue for learning Music.

Prior to the concert, Mr. Swift also stated how he would like to “diversify the performances” beyond classical music. And indeed, the audience saw an abundant variety of performances in the one-hour virtual concert. The genre varied from Indian traditional music to Disney songs, Jazz musical songs, and Opera vocal songs. In terms of the performing style, solo instrumentalists, duets, and even a girls’ band were seen. Many of the students who take music as their main subject were encouraged to participate and share their musical talent. One student shared her thoughts as she reflected on how she first felt the pressure to play her piece after having listened to the amazing performances of others. However, she enjoyed performing after all, and felt less stressed since it was in front of the camera and not a large group of audience. A mini-recording studio was set up by Mr. Swift, and each of the performers had the chance to record multiple takes until they found their ‘perfect’ performance. Mr. Swift explained how “this took some of the ‘scariness’ out of the process.”

In spite of the technological issues, which were the concern shared by some students, the virtual concert turned out to be a huge success. The high-quality photographs taken during the practicing process added extra excitement to the online performance, which was something that could only be created through screens. Furthermore, the platform of Microsoft Teams allowed a larger number of people to view the concert, since they could all watch the performances through laptops and phones without having to go to the campus. One Grade 10 student described this concert as a big highlight of the first term. She commented, “Watching the video at home with my family was a wonderful experience, especially because it felt as if we were actually at school.” Furthermore a parent said,“The concert was well organized and showed amazing talent of all the girls who participated.

Even though we all wish next year to be a less complicated and a more peaceful time, knowing that there is always an alternative strategy definitely gives Marymount’s talented musicians a sense of relief and hope for their remaining years at school.