It was fitting that our 500th celebrations started at St Paul’s Cathedral with the Chapel Choir invited to sing Choral Evensong.
King’s Bruton was founded by Richard Fitzjames, the Bishop of London in 1519, and all the King’s pupils, staff, parents and Old Brutonians present in St Paul’s will always remember this most impressive occasion. Ashley Marshfield prepared the Choir with patience and skill, as singing in St Paul’s can be daunting. However, the Choir were superb throughout, receiving much encouragement from the St Paul’s clergy, and the Choir gave a wonderful, first public performance of the 500th commissioned anthem, ‘King of Glory, King of Peace’. It was a privilege to be Headmaster at such an uplifting 500th event in such a remarkable setting.
Ian? Wilmshurst M.A. (Cantab.) Headmaster.
The Chapel Choir had a hugely enjoyable and memorable day at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 25th February. It was wonderful to welcome back 12 Old Brutonians to join the Choir to take forces to 50 voices – certainly needed to fill such a large building! The rehearsal in the Choir Practice Room was a breeze as the voices all blended together so well.
Music for the service included: a portion of Psalm 135, Richard Smith’s 5-part setting of the Preces and Responses, Herbert Howells setting of the Canticles Collegium Regale composed in 1945 for the choir of King’s College, Cambridge and most importantly the première performance of the specially commissioned work for the 500th celebrations ‘King of Glory, King of Peace’ composed by Alexander L’Estrange. It was particularly special to have the composer in the congregation to hear the first performance of the work, who I am delighted to add, was most complimentary about the performance.
Aside from the performance of the commissioned anthem, one of the most memorable moments for me would be enjoying the cavernous acoustic at the end of the Gloria of the Canticles – such a special moment hearing the voices of the Choir come back as an echo of upwards of 8 seconds in St Paul’s Cathedral.
It was very special to have such a large number of supporters at the service including: governors, both current and former parents, staff, Old Brutonians and members of the public. The Cathedral Clergy were most generous in their comments following the service and commended the Choir not only on the quality of sound, but also how well the Choir adapted to working in an acoustically challenging building and the superb behaviour and conduct of the Chapel Choir throughout our visit.
Well done to all involved on a hugely successfully and memorable occasion.
Ashley Marshfield - Director of Choral Studies.