Felsted drumming legend’s 70th birthday extravaganza!
- Credit: Archant
FROM working with The Beatles to touring the globe, Crissy Lee is a drumming legend and much loved teacher at Felsted. It was only fitting that such a rock star should celebrate her 70th birthday in style, with the school hosting a birthday celebration in her honour.
Last Wednesday (June 26) over 150 people turned out to listen to, and participate in, the concert held in the state-of-the-art Music School.
The extravaganza kicked off with a drum kit competition across three categories, which allowed drummers of all abilities to get on stage and perform.
The competition, judged by Southern Percussion, saw nine-year-old Harry Prideaux crowned as the junior champion. Lewis Isaacs, also nine, from Barnston, was awarded the intermediate title and the senior champion was Ben Codrai, 18, from Saffron Walden.
The concert featured past, present and future Felstedians, with solo performances on vibes and marimba, a drum-off between Crissy and brave members of the audience and culminated in a performance of ‘Suite For Solo Drum Set and Ensemble’ by Mancini featuring Crissy as the soloist, directed by Felsted percussion teacher Rob Farrer.
The concert was also an opportunity for the music department to showcase its new Marimba, which was purchased from and signed by Scottish virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who has close links with the school, having opened its new Music School in 2009.
Felsted is now one of few independent schools able to compete with specialist music schools in terms of its percussion provision, and with the launch of its Junior Strings programme in combination with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in September 2014, Felsted is arguably becoming the best school of its kind in the area to attend for Music.
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James Lowry, director of Music at Felsted, said; “This was a celebration, not just of the birthday of an inspirational teacher, but of the spirit and spark of the percussion faculty at Felsted.
“It is not an understatement to say that the purchase of the marimba and the quality of facilities and teaching on offer puts us easily on a level with specialist music schools, and the sheer quality of the playing on Wednesday night more than bears this out.”