Image above: Chiswick School choir Chiswick Voices at King’s College, Cambridge
Bucking the trend and keeping up the tradition of choral music
Students from Chiswick School had the opportunity to perform at a Cambridge University College on Monday (13 November).
Chiswick Voices, the senior choir of Chiswick School, sang at a joint service of Choral Evensong with King’s Voices, the mixed choir of King’s College, Cambridge.
Choral Evensong is a staple part of life at most Oxford and Cambridge colleges, many of which offer it in their chapels two or three times a week for students to pause from daily work pressures and reflect quietly.
Many colleges also invite schools to sing alongside the college choir for a one-off service, but this has become a “dying custom” over the past few years, says Chiswick School, as increasingly more schools in the country are moving away from traditional choral music.
Not the case at Chiswick School, where Head of Music Zac Moxon has great ambitions for the school’s choirs. In March, Chiswick Voices sang the whole of Vivaldi’s Gloria with Hounslow Youth Choir, even though the choir had only been formed in January 2022.
Under his leadership Chiswick Voices choir has also travelled to Somerville College, Oxford, to sing in their Choral Contemplation. They have performed works by John Rutter, Imogen Holst, Gabriel Faure, and Thomas Tallis.
Image above: Inside the chapel at King’s College, Cambridge
Daily rehearsals before school
Preparation for the evensong at King’s College, Cambridge, only began on the first day of this term, but students have been rehearsing daily before the start of school.
Mrs Emmett, the senior leader for the arts, who accompanied the students on the trip said:
“I was quite emotional during the service. The children have been so hardworking, often balancing choir rehearsals with a rigorous academic programme, and the beauty of their sound was such a testament to their efforts. I will remember it for a long time”.
Chiswick residents invited to join Chiswick Voices
Chiswick Voices’ next concert will be Faure Requiem with Hounslow Symphony Orchestra on 16 March 2024. For the first time, they are pleased to announce that the performance is open for local Chiswick residents to join in – a new venture called ‘Chiswick Community Choir.’
Residents are invited to join here.
Chiswick School says this is not the only cause for celebration in the arts. Mr Robinson and the Drama department have again been shortlisted for ‘Drama Department of the Year’ at the UK Music and Drama awards, and Mr Dubois, music teacher and Steel Band tutor at Chiswick has just been voted the UK’s Number 1 Steel Pan player by the British Association of Steel Bands. He was voted in by a panel of 200 of the UK’s best players and will collect his award at a ceremony next month.
If you want to hear more of Chiswick’s Steel Bands, come to Chiswick House and Gardens on Sunday 3 December at 12pm for an outdoor show, and at Chiswick School Hall (open to the public) on Thursday 14 December at 6.30pm for the Steel Band Christmas show.