On Thursday 16 March 2023, a historical event took place, bringing together the choirs from Mill Hill School and Belmont Preparatory School, the Parents and Old Millhillians Choral Society, Foundation Staff Singers, along with an astonishing orchestra made up of players from the Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra. Conducted by the former principal conductor of the Glyndebourne Tour, Old Millhillian (OM) Ben Glassberg, the performance was nothing short of spectacular.
The occasion started with a bang, as Ethan Lieber’s (OM) fanfare, performed by our guest musicians, set the tone for the night. The audience was then treated to a spellbinding performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto, featuring our OM soloist and BBC Young Musician String Finalist Ellen Baumring-Gledhill. The combined performance of our soloist and orchestra, crafted by Glassberg, delivered an unforgettable rendition of this most famous of cello works.
The combined choirs sang a touching hymn written by John McClure himself during his time as Headmaster of Mill Hill School.
After the interval, all 175 singers, our guest orchestra and four professional soloists, again led by Ben Glassberg, performed a unique and exciting rendition of Handel’s Messiah. The excitement among all the performers’ faces was evident throughout the entire performance, and they devoted every ounce of their effort to delivering an unforgettable and magical rendition of the work. The performance concluded with a sensational encore of I Was Glad by Parry, leaving the audience in no doubt that this was a special event from start to finish.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this event was the beautiful venue chosen to host it. The concert took place at Holy Trinity, Sloane Square in Chelsea, heightening the experience for all in attendance.
This spectacle was not only about delivering a top-notch performance but also about coming together for a worthy cause. All proceeds from the event went towards supporting the McClure Memorial Trust. The Trust is committed to helping talented pupils access a quality education at Mill Hill School, which would otherwise be unaffordable. Therefore, the event was a clear demonstration of not only the extraordinary musical talent of the performers in the Mill Hill Community but also of The Foundation’s commitment to helping others.
It was incredible to witness so many Old Millhillians come back to participate in the choir and perform individual solos. The concert was one of the largest ever put on in the history of Mill Hill, and it was an excellent tribute to Sir John David McClure. The event showcased a true testament to the power of music and the passion that unites us all.
The event will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most exciting performances in the Foundation’s recent history. Delivered in the heart of Chelsea, with a top-notch orchestra, choir, and soloists coming together to perform for a good cause. It was a night that will be remembered for a long time.
Mr Kyle, Director of Musical Performance