10 years for the GHS & RGS Joint Chamber Choir

On 11 September, the pupils from this summer’s GHS & RGS Joint Orchestra and Chamber Choir tour, together with alumni musicians from both schools, joined forces for a special concert at Holy Trinity Church. This was a tremendous occasion as the Joint Orchestra and Chamber Choir – including those who left the Upper Sixth in July – reprised the repertoire recently performed on tour in Tuscany.

As September 2019 also marks the 10th Anniversary of the Joint GHS & RGS Chamber Choir, it was a delight to be able to invite back former choristers to reunite and sing once again.

Mr Grayson Jones

The alumni musicians joined with the current choir and orchestra to perform ‘Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen’ by Brahms; the ‘Kyrie’, ‘Gloria’ and ‘Agnus Dei’ from Mozart’s Coronation Mass; and Charles Wood’s unaccompanied gem, ‘Hail Gladdening Light’. The combined forces melded brilliantly to produce the most tremendously thrilling (and, when required, powerful!) sound. The musicians were clearly lifted by the sight of a packed church, with nearly 300 in the audience.

Mention must be made of the current school pupils for whom this was also their post tour concert; it was the opportunity for their parents to hear the music performed in Florence, San Gimignano, Pescia, Lucca and Montecatini Terme.

The GHS & RGS Chamber Choir was in tremendous form, delighting the audience with Harris’ unaccompanied gem, Faire is the Heaven, before performing – with orchestra – Handel’s great Coronation Anthem, The King Shall Rejoice.

The balance, blend, intonation and nuance was evident throughout.

Mr Grayson Jones

The Joint Orchestra (superbly led by Amy Collis), brought out all the required drama and tenderness in pieces by Rossini and Sibelius, whilst the roaring finale – Walton’s Crown Imperial – was especially impressive from this ensemble of highly talented players.

The strength of the choir is such that the soloists for the Mozart mass were all drawn from current pupils and they were simply outstanding. Particular mention must be made of the soprano soloists Lydia Parkes (Kyrie), Beth Yates (Gloria) and Hannah Dienes-Williams (Agnus Dei), and the contralto Georgie Durie (Gloria); there were also superb countertenor, tenor and bass soloists from the RGS.

For the audience and performers alike, this was an exhilarating and memorable evening. Thank you to all alumni that attended the event, it was lovely to see you all again!

Mr Grayson Jones