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Old palace, John Whitgift, Whitgift Foundation, remembrance, first world war, minster, croydon, old town, hymn, martin how, carol jewell, premiere, school, girls, choir

Old Palace students played to packed Croydon Minster at Remembrance weekend.

The first ever rendition of Croydon composer Martin How’s new Requiem Cantata was performed by Old Palace students to a packed out audience at Croydon Minster for Remembrance weekend.

Two of the movements from the Cantata, a piece typically sung by a choir and accompanied by instruments, had been written by Mr How especially for Old Palace’s Director of Music, Gareth Hemmings, and the School’s Polyphonic Choir.

The 90 minute work sets the Latin words of the Requiem service interspersed with settings of other biblical texts.

The girls’ performance of the Pie Jesu and In Paradisum was poised and expressive with the melodic lines fitting their voices perfectly.

Mr How’s work is written for soprano, tenor and bass solos with organ, violin and timpani accompaniment showing the influence of the British choral tradition with hints of Elgar, folk melody as well as more acerbic whole-tone passages, but all instantly accessible to an audience.

Students felt privileged to be a part of this special concert performed to a large and appreciative audience last Saturday evening at the Minster.

Carol Jewell, Head of Old Palace, commented: “It was a memorable and moving performance. It was an immense privilege to be part of a congregation packed full of generations of choristers taught by Martin How over the years, as they lifted the roof of the Minster with their hymn singing.”

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