From West End to Broadway – final ‘swan song’ for retiring Director of Music

20 Jun 2013

A full capacity audience turned out on showery Saturday evening last weekend to enjoy the last concert of the season entitled “From the West End to Broadway” in the chapel of the Royal Hospital School. It was joint performance given by Holbrook Choral Society and orchestra with the Chamber Choir and soloists from the Royal Hospital School. The works performed included music from Les Miserables, the Rhythm of Life from Sweet Charity and Errol Garners famous tune, Misty, performed by Jessica Hazelton soprano with Elizabeth Ponsonby on the saxophone. Elizabeth Leaver and Jack Rickards also performed All I ask of You from the Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. William Saunders played an organ arrangement entitled “The Sound of Musicals” by Nicholas Freestone showing off the Schools famous organ in a different genre.

All of this was interspersed with great opera choruses and arias performed by the Holbrook Choral Society with Teresa Pells soprano soloist. The large orchestra which had been assembled performed Broadway show-stoppers including “That’s Entertainment”, “Cabaret” , “Mame” and “There’s no business like show business.” Towards the end of the concert the audience was treated to “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof and an appropriate rendition of “Singing in the Rain”. The concert ended with a stunning impromptu performance of “This is the moment” from the musical Jekyll and Hyde given by the School’s retiring Director of Music, Peter Crompton. This was his last concert in this role and the choirs, orchestra and soloists received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Sophie Braybrooke, Marketing Director at the Royal Hospital School said, “During Peter’s time at the Royal Hospital School, spanning almost four decades, he has touched the lives of so many – pupils, staff, parents and friends of the School – with his infectious enthusiasm and brilliant musicianship. His down to earth sense of humour, kind heart and wonderful ability to engage with all ages and musical abilities, has meant that he has become one of the most legendry and loved teachers the Royal Hospital School has had. We all wish Peter and his wife, Angela, a long and happy retirement.”

Picture: Peter Crompton conducting the Choir at his final concert as Director of Music.