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Wonderful String Quartet Proms

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What a splendid evening guests enjoyed at the Infant School PTA Summer Proms, in the village hall on Friday evening.

Adrienne Ward and her very committed PTA Team had decorated the hall beautifully to create the atmosphere of an outdoor summer picnic, all contained indoors to ensure that the fickle British weather could not interfere with such a delightful event.

Fairly lights combined with miniature trees and a vast range of plants (kindly supplied by Hartwell Nurseries) to conjure up a 'Midsummer Night's Dream-like' space, and so the stage was set for some truly exceptional music, courtesy of the Masquerade String Quartet.

The quartet comprises some of the country's top professional classical musicians: violist Mark Chivers and violinist Liz Hodson, who are married and residents of Haddenham, together with cellist Nick Stringfellow and violinist Simon Chalk. The players freelance with the UK's finest ensembles, from the BBC Symphony, CBSO and Orchestra of the Swan to Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson and Goldfrapp.

They have also performed on many film and television soundtracks, including X Factor for ITV and Doctor Who for the BBC, as well as commercially available CDs.

The quartet's repertoire provided captivating versions of many musical favourites; the classical appeal of Glazunov mixing with the jazzier moods of Gershwin and Mancini, alongside favourites from Broadway, Hollywood and the Spaghetti westerns, plus familiar TV Themes — most notably from a range of TV detectives. The Thunderbirds theme concluded this wonderfully entertaining range of music. Rapturous applause and a standing ovation were assured!

The fundraising objectives of the evening were given a very healthy boost by over £700 with an auction of donated gifts, hosted with great enthusiasm and humour by Alex Giles.

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to create such a memorable and utterly wonderful evening.

(Please click on any image to see an enlarged version.)

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Adrienne Ward, Chairperson of HCIS PTA, adds:

'Thank you to everyone who came and supported our lovely Picnic Proms. Masquerade were absolutely sublime and the hall looked beautiful with all the trees and plants wrapped in fairy lights, it felt almost unreal and dreamlike, like we were at a wedding with no bride! This event made a magnificent £1658.50, with over 110 tickets sold, which was a great achievement for our little school. The money will go towards the development of a teaching kitchen (a kitchen in miniature!) for the children to have cooking lessons in.

The children also enjoyed a wonderful assembly with Masquerade in the afternoon. They had voted on a favourite tune, and all loved to hear the theme tune to the Harry Potter films. Mark Chivers, dad and violist, also said he would never forget the children singing (or should we say shouting!) along to 'Let it go' from Disney's 'Frozen'!

PTA — you surpassed yourselves. Thank you to.. Lyn Louise Johnson, my driving force, who really took the bull by the horns and made this event spectacular by designing the set and taking a lead on the Auction, Kathy Smith who helped secure Auction prizes, Alex Giles for leading the Auction, Jenny Coaten for the pretty table decorations, tablecloths , and bunting, Chris Downs and Liz Evans for managing the bar, and Anna Kittel, Natalie Giles, Sally Skerry, Philippa Blowfield, Alex Kruger, Verity Priest, Clare Abbott, Miranda Price and Gemma Proctor who all helped in various guises. If I have missed anyone out I am truly sorry- PTA you are all fantastic!

Further thanks go to the generosity of Hartwell Nurseries for the loan of such wonderful foliage, Hyatt studios in Tring who ran a super charity raffle grid for us, and of course Masquerade- your talent astounds me. This event was my swan song as I give up the role of Chairlady at the end of the term as my son starts HCJS in September, so it was very important to me to get it right. Mac has been so happy at HCIS, I couldn't wish for a better school so many thanks to all the staff and children. I will never forget his time there and such a magical fundraising evening.'

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