Return of

OPUS 2024

A Journey Renewed

The return of Dover's Music Ensembles to The Esplanade Concert Hall in OPUS 2024 marked a significant event, as it was the first time since OPUS 2019. Regrettably, the pandemic forced the cancellation of OPUS 2020 merely two weeks prior to the scheduled performance.

OPUS 2024 served as a joyous celebration of ensemble music, bringing together students, parents, and teachers in a memorable event.


Students, Parents & Teachers

Participated in OPUS 2024

Jazz Band

‘Cold Duck Time’ is a rock/funk influenced piece and was first recorded by saxophonist Eddie Harris at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969. There is intricate interplay between the saxes, trumpets and trombones and solos are played by Hugo on sax, and Rayner and Miray on trumpet.

‘Take the ‘A’ Train’ was composed in 1939 by Billy Strayhorn and was played by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. This up tempo swing piece features Hugo, Osian and Ari on saxophone, and Luke on drums.

The Jazz Band finished with the shuffle groove ‘’Out of the Doghouse’, with references to boogie-woogie rhythms, New Orleans street beat and 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. On top of Riko’s Boogie-Woogie piano playing there are challenging melodies and riffs with a feature for the saxophone section.


Along with his magnum opus, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, J. Fred Coots’ “For All We Know” was written and first performed in 1934 as an uptempo ‘sweet’ band arrangement. It has since become a jazz standard, performed by jazz ‘giants’ such as Billy Holiday, Chet Baker and Nat King Cole as well as lesser jazz ‘greats’, like Clint Eastwood and Rod Stewart. Cantabile performed a more introspective and lush harmonic arrangement by the ‘New York Voices’.

“That’s the Way of the World” is the title track from the sixth studio album by Earth, Wind and Fire, released in 1975. The album rose to No.1 on the Billboard charts and won a Rock Music Award for best R’nB album. Cantabile performed a ‘New York Voices’ arrangement. With its complex 5-part jazz harmonies and melodic lines in the upper extremes of range, this was arguably their most challenging piece attempted to date.


Eric Whitacre is an American composer best known for his choral music, specifically his ‘Virtual’ Choir projects. Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world. Each one of the videos is then synchronised and combined into one single performance to create the Virtual Choir. In May 2020, during the covid 19 pandemic, Whitacre announced that the sixth iteration of Virtual Choir would be an original song entitled “Sing Gently”. It featured 17,572 singers from 129 countries. This evening, Singers performed a ‘live’ version.

“She’s Not There” is the debut single by British rock band the Zombies. Teenagers at the time, the Zombies recorded the single after they won a talent show which led to a recording session. This minor key, jazz-tinged single eventually reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot in December 1964, and in 2016, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The Jazz Band finished with the shuffle groove ‘’Out of the Doghouse’, with references to boogie-woogie rhythms, New Orleans street beat and 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. On top of Riko’s Boogie-Woogie piano playing there are challenging melodies and riffs with a feature for the saxophone section.

Percussion Ensemble

Asturias-Leyenda by Isaac Albéniz is one of the most famous Spanish classical guitar pieces of the 20th century. With the large interest in guitar literature by marimbists throughout the second half of the 20th century, Leyenda found its way onto the marimba. This percussion ensemble arrangement came about because of a high school percussion ensemble concert Gifford Howarth was asked to participate in as a visiting soloist.

Avalanche Lake by Patrick Speranza was composed after a trip to Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Speranza was inspired by the views of the forest mountains that surround the park and the long waterfalls that he witnessed on a five-mile hike. With upbeat ostinatos and catchy, light-hearted melodic content, Avalanche Lake is a perfect complement to any middle and high school percussion concert program.


With the demographic of our more mature audience members firmly in mind, Arioso presented a medley of two songs by English singer-songwriter Nik Kershaw. While both were released in 1984, “The Riddle” became the single from Kershaw’s second album, reaching No.3 on the UK charts, while “Wouldn’t It Be Good” featured on his debut album, reaching No.4.

This medley left the synth and electric guitar-laden instrumentation of the 1980s originals behind and, instead, interprets these hits with a more contemporary and acoustic flavour.

Phoenix Orchestra

Opus eagerly welcomed the Phoenix Orchestra for its debut performance. In the realm of Johan Strauss' renowned overtures, this charming composition overflowed with unforgettable melodies that were undoubtedly familiar. The orchestra then mesmerised with Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Opus 46," featuring iconic movements like "Morning Mood" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King."

Senior Strings

'Beauty and Fire' was a modern piece by Chris Thomas, blending beauty, intensity, and emotional depth. The initial movement immersed listeners in an ethereal, tranquil world, while the second movement sparked fiery intensity, contrasting the serene beauty of the first with a burst of passion and energy.

In the beginning 'Air,' listeners were transported to a serene and reflective musical realm where Oostenbroek revealed a graceful, elegant melody. The subsequent 'Reel' surged with infectious energy and lively rhythms, inspired by traditional folk dance music. This segment overflowed with joy, featuring lively syncopations, driving rhythms, and memorable melodies.

Chamber Players

In the initial movement, Allegro, the composition exuded a cheerful and lively demeanour. The subsequent Andante movement radiated with serene tranquillity. The presto finale showcased a youthful Mozart at his most exuberant. With its delightful melodies, refined craftsmanship, and vibrant expression, this piece has consistently enchanted audiences with its enduring allure and beauty.

Symphonic Band

The Symphonic Band treated the audience to two captivating performances. First, 'Quicksilver' by William Owens whisked listeners back to the spirited ambience of early twentieth-century circuses with its lively march-like rhythm. Then, 'Crescent Moon Dance' by Akito Matsuda, known from the anime 'Hibike! Euphonium 2,' depicted the fictional Kitauji High School Band's quest for excellence in a band competition. As the protagonists grappled with mastering the piece, their dedication to the band was put to the ultimate test. The band hoped to meet the audience's expectations with their rendition of these dynamic pieces.

As the finale to our concert, the Symphonic Band joined forces with our combined choirs to present ‘Peace, Triumphant Peace’ from ‘The Peacemakers’ by Karl Jenkins.

Watch how OPUS 2024 went:

Short highlights of OPUS 2024

Full video of OPUS 2024