During the summer holidays the Music Department took the School’s two jazz bands to perform four concerts: two at the renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, one in Lausanne, and one on the French side of Lake Geneva in the beautiful town of Lugrin.

The first concert at a casino in Lausanne was the tour’s baptism of fire, with extreme temperatures inside making it the hottest gig that the veteran musicians had ever experienced, while the younger players rose to the challenge with some exceptional solos.

At the Montreux Festival venue, Music in the Park, the bands played before a large, enthusiastic crowd. OSJO2 started off with their favourite rendition of ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing’, while the three vocalists from OSJO1, Cazzie Winterton (D), George Cobb (L), and Sarah Boyle (L), sang brilliantly, and Henry Sleight’s clarinet solo was especially noteworthy. Their CD sales flew!

There was much amusement at the start of the next concert, over on the French side of the lake in Lugrin, when it appeared that they had driven all the way to France just to play to a few parents. However, within minutes of starting to play, the village square filled with townsfolk and there was soon a sizeable audience swinging along. The challenge this time was the setting sun, and stylish or not, the entire band had to wear sunglasses in order to see the music.

OSJO2 opened the final concert at the Festival, and loved having their blues relayed around the whole festival through the speakers. Especially popular with the crowd was the improvisation between Mark Bonner and Mr Milsted in their opening piece. OSJO1 excelled with a wide repertoire that was brilliantly performed and well received.

The 43 pupils and 6 staff members enjoyed superb food, a wonderful itinerary and inspirational venues during the week. In addition to the performances, they made fascinating trips to the Olympic Museum, the salt mines of Bex, the Cailler chocolate factory, a tough trek up a mountain that was eventually adored for the stunning views, the gentle clang of Alpine bells and the beautiful air, as well as relaxing downtime by swimming pools, Lake Geneva and outings to enjoy the heady atmosphere of Montreux.

Hugo Walford (S)