Shrewsbury School

A sell-out performance of All the King's Men

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Established in September 2009 at King’s College London, All the King’s Men has always been more than just a student group. After two sell-out Edinburgh Fringe Festival appearances and two sensational USA tours to the West and East Coast, All the King’s Men have been crowned Voice Festival UK Winners (officially becoming the UK’s best collegiate a cappella group) and were awarded Third Place at the ICCA Finals in New York this year.
This multi-award winning group have quickly conquered the UK a cappella scene with their tight vocal harmonies and original arrangements. A diverse selection of music and entertaining choreography, seasoned with humour and mischief, creates a regal performance fit for a king! The group consistently dazzle audiences at concerts, private functions and high-profile corporate events, at venues such as the Barbican, IndigO2 Arena, Royal Festival Hall, Park Lane’s Marriott and Hilton Hotels, the BT Tower and New York's Time Square, to name but a few.  We were delighted to welcome this amazing group for a one off performance on Friday 5 October 2012.

'A Cappella at its very finest' was how it was billed, and they did not disappoint.  All the King’s Men performed a sell-out concert of the very finest A cappella music in the Maidment Auditorium on Friday evening. The concert was full of high energy, fun and fine musicianship performed by twelve hugely talented individuals who really know how to entertain an audience.

For the members of the Shrewsbury School Musical Activities Club the evening started with a fine Champagne and Canapé reception followed by a wonderful two course dinner in Kingsland House, but the main course really was the stand out performance by the group who hail from King’s College in London.

The post-Edinburgh Fringe performance here at Shrewsbury was a slick operation, with tight vocal performances and a cohesive visual appearance; they effortlessly went from song to song keeping the audience, both young and old, entertained throughout with their amazing vocal repertoire, wit and boundless energy.

The concert had a very special meaning for two members of the group. Henry Southern who is the Musical Director and founder of All the King’s Men is an Old Salopian, Henry used to be in The Grove between 2003 and 2008. His fellow Groveite Chris Jamieson (2004-2009) made a special guest appearance. In the programme notes, Henry commented on his time here at Shrewsbury.

“Whilst studying at Shrewsbury School I was fortunate enough to be immersed in  several areas of the music department. I will always have very fond memories of my time here, from singing in regular services with the Chapel Choir, to performing the infamous Peter Fanning and John Moore musicals at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"I was also given the opportunity to lead several ensembles, including being musical director of the school Big Band, a highlight of which was going on tour to Prague in 2007, and gaining invaluable experience guiding the Grove to success in the house singing competition. These fantastic opportunities – for which I am hugely grateful to the teaching staff at Shrewsbury School – stood me in good stead for the challenges that arose when establishing All the King’s Men at university”

During the afternoon the group held several workshops with the students from Shrewsbury School, assisting them with their forthcoming part songs for House Singing and also working on a piece of music that the students then performed at the concert to rapturous applause.

All in all this truly was an amazing evening of the finest A cappella music, performed to a full house by a simply inspirational group of young men.

As one reviewer from the Edinburgh Fringe wrote “I thought their blend was so good it reminded me of their British counterparts, The King’s Singers.” Now that is a great testimony to the talent that is ‘All the King’s Men’.

For more details of the ‘Friends of Shrewsbury School Musical Activities’ please contact myself on 01743 280812.

The 56th Season of Music & Arts is kindly sponsored by Shukers Land Rover.

Darren Wood

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