Shrewsbury School

Sweet singing in the Choir

Friday 14 December 2018

There may have been no snow on snow this year, but the traditional Carol Service from the first notes of ‘Once in royal...’ sparkled with all the magic of our early Salopian Christmas.

After a mammoth Michaelmas Term, plaudits should first go to the Chapel Choir for Stakhanovite levels of stamina that enabled beautiful singing to round off events. To bring the term to close in such spectacular fashion is quite some production: three carol services, 17 soloists, 21 readings, 83 choristers, 1800 orders of service... And this year they also included one uninvited cipher (the trumpet stop, no less), as the ageing organ misbehaves in its grouchy decrepitude. (Those who wish to avoid a capella carols next year ought to contact the Foundation...)

Musical highlights included the steel-nerved 17 soloists, with Brandon Zhao, our first boy treble for many years, kicking off the service, followed beautifully by Tabitha Winkley and Georgina Cooper.

Ohin Cheng and Saffron Milner were particularly fine duetists in ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, with Phoebe Morris, Ben Lloyd, Olivia Moir and Henri Cramsie stepping up with aplomb in later services. Three Kings became nine kings who delivered right royal performances: Arthur Sutherland, Dominic Inglis-Jones, Judah Wainwright, Orlando Williams, Edward Bayliss, Arthur Myrrdin-Evans (a Ridgemount trio, another first), Fingal Dickins, Dan Davies and fearless last-minute replacement Koby Ferdinand-Okpala.

Koby and Henri (photo from 2016...)

Congratulations and lashings of figgy pudding indeed to Director of Chapel Choir Alex Mason and organist/organ whisperer Dr John Godwin for their unstinting devotion to producing such top-class quality: a fittingly tuneful and reflective finale to a term notable for its stunning music. Bravi!

James Fraser-Andrews

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