On Thursday 28th November, an audience of parents and supporters gathered in the Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich for the eagerly-anticipated performance of Fauré’s Requiem. The piece was performed by St Mary’s Chamber Choir and Junior Consort, together with a choir of 25 tenors and basses from Eton College.
The pupils had rehearsed independently in the run-up, only collaborating on the afternoon of the concert itself. The effect of the 80-strong choir, combined with Mr Totney’s wonderful organ playing, was utterly sublime. The aesthetics of the Chapel complemented the beauty of the music supremely well, and were as inspiring to the girls as to the audience. Belinda (LVI Choral Scholar) sang the soaring soprano solo, Pie Jesu brilliantly. The Requiem was preceded by various other sacred choral works, four of which were written especially for upper voices, and showed off the girls’ magical sound particularly well. A favourite of the girls, the Cantique de Jean Racine was chosen to commence the proceedings, in a collaboration between the Chamber Choir and boys’ voices.
Audience members enjoyed post-concert drinks in the atmospheric undercroft beneath the Chapel (the former already dressed for Christmas!). During the day, before rehearsals commenced, the girls had enjoyed a local speciality for lunch – pie and mash (although not with the even more traditional eels!).
Musically, they rose to the occasion magnificently, and both acted and sang professionally from start to finish. The evening raised over £4,000 for military bursaries, the venue being particularly apt for this cause.
Mrs Rebecca Cavill, Director of Music