Alex Tester, Director of Music, writes: It’s always a pleasure to take our musicians to sing and play in major venues, and Monday evening was no exception. It was great to be warmly welcomed by the Dean and Canons at St Paul’s Cathedral, as the senior members of our Chapel Choir led the singing of Choral Evensong. The programme was challenging, particularly after only three weeks of term, but the pupils enjoyed the ethereal sounds of Howells Collegium Regale setting of the canticles, and the powerful Evening Hymn by Balfour Gardiner. Solos in the Howells Nunc Dimittis were ably sung by Jamie Fabian-Hunt and Myles Docherty, and the service was accompanied throughout by our own Gabs Damiani. This is the second time in two years that we have visited St Paul’s and we hope that it might continue to work into a bi-annual pattern. It’s lovely for ex-choristers in our Chapel Choirs, in particular, to return to their roots, leading the ancient tradition of sung evensong services, and for the Choir generally to have ambitious targets to prepare for.
John Wiggins, Hon. Sec to the St Edward’s Society (OSE), adds: After such a wonderful and uplifting service the northerly stroll in the evening sunshine quickly passed and took us to the Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in the secluded Monkwell Square. There we were warmly welcomed by our host, Col. Peter Durrant (Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Barbers) and his wife Annie Johnson (mother of new OSE, Meg Johnson). The surroundings were elegant and bright, the drinks were fine and plentiful, the nibbles were relentless and very tasty and served by extremely professional staff. All of this was in the excellent company of OSE, parents (of past and present pupils), St Edward’s staff and Governors and the delightful school prefects. Honoured guests could not fail to be impressed but all were then enchanted by Alex Tester’s Close Harmony group — most of whom had been singing in the choir – accompanied by Tomos Watkins, with two contemporary numbers, Sam Smith’s ‘I’m not the Only One’ and James Bay’s ‘Hold Back the River’, sandwiched between ‘Over the Rainbow’ and ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’. The latter was a little premature as the Warden had yet to say a few words of thanks to all the aforementioned but also to OSE Chris Sprague (former Master of the Company) who was instrumental in the operation. We heard tales of Lutes and Looting before well-earned applause for all-concerned. All went on their way, smiling.