The official opening of the revitalised, refreshed and wonderfully decorated Big School took place last Friday evening in front of a large audience of specially invited guests, parents, pupils and staff.
The refurbishment of Big School is as a result of a substantial donation from OH Edward Holroyd, who is also the Chairman of the Development Board. Improvements to the area include a fresh look with the school’s new colours and a remodelled entrance hall which now boasts many of the pupils’ art pieces.
A new staging system has been installed which provides greater flexibility for the range of performances put on at the school. The original stage has been turned into a much-needed storage area which has freed up more space in the hall. The new facility also boasts up-to-date disability access.
To celebrate the opening, a gala concert was put together by Director of Music, Peter Davis. This opened in spectacular fashion in a blaze of light with a performance of Carl Orff’s O Fortuna from ‘Carmina Burana’ sung by the Chapel Choir. The choir completed their contribution with a lyrical performance of Rachmaninov’s Vocalise (featuring three UVI soprano soloists) and a set of jazzy Birthday Madrigals by John Rutter.
The Symphony Orchestra led the remainder of the programme, accompanying sisters Olivia and Vivien Klose first of all in an exhilarating performance of Mendelssohn’s Double Piano Concert in E major. The concert ended just as spectacularly with a thrilling and stylish rendition of Beethoven’s jubilant Symphony No. 1, showcasing the talents of Haileybury’s leading instrumental players.