Whitgift School Choir put on a spectacular show during a great line up of festive events.
The Christmas season was a very busy period for the Whitgift Choristers. They began by singing carols at the world-renowned Ritz Hotel, a great privilege for all involved. The next event was the annual Christmas Concert at St George’s, Hanover Square, which featured both the Whitgift Chamber Choir and the Whitgift Chamber Orchestra presenting a wonderful selection of seasonal classics. The Whitgift Music Department has been blessed over the years to boast some immensely talented composers amongst its ranks, and works by two of these were performed to great acclaim at the event. Head of Academic Music, Mr Alan Weakley’s, enchanting setting of Balulalow, a beautiful Christmas cradle song, was sung with great sensitivity and finesse by the Whitgift Chamber Choir. This was followed by a piece composed by Mr Jack Oades, Whitgift’s resident Organ Scholar, who was specially commissioned, on the occasion of Dr Barnett’s final year as Headmaster, to write a carol based upon text from Spenser’s Faerie Queene. The resulting piece, entitled Crimson Dawn, was a triumph, blending North Indian classical music and traditional folk song melodies, to make serene music in the magical setting of St George’s.
During the Christmas holidays, the Whitgift Minster Choristers performed their festive duties at Croydon Minster, which included the Town Carol Service (in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Croydon), the particularly popular Candlelight Concert, the Midnight Mass and the Christmas Day service.
2017 is set to be another exciting year; the Croydon Minster Choir of Whitgift School, along with world-renowned His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, are set to record an album at the Minster, featuring cathedral music during John Whitgift’s time as Archbishop of Canterbury. The CD will be available by the summer.
Mr Ronny Krippner, Whitgift’s Director of Choral Music, commented, “I’m delighted that the Whitgift Minster Choristers will be working again with His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, following last November’s performance of the Monteverdi Vespers. It will be fascinating to explore the musical sound world of John Whitgift and to be singing recently discovered music from his time – all recorded in a place so strongly associated with him."