A busy start to the academic year...

We kicked off the start of this busy term by meeting for our annual choir camp. This was an opportunity for us to get to know our new choral scholars and sing together for the first time. As well as full choir rehearsals, we utilised this weekend to sing in our smaller groups, ending in a short workshop to the rest of the choir of a wide-range of music for one-a-part ensembles. We finished our weekend of rehearsals with our first Sunday worship of the term, to welcome new students to College and Chapel life.

The next week was a whirlwind of rehearsals for the welcome week Chorus and orchestra but we continued with our usual rehearsals, with Choral Evensong on the Thursday with music by Stanford. We performed our first Midweek Music concert of the year entitled 'Music of the Spheres'. The programme reflected the sun, moon and stars and included two solo pieces sung by Laurence Padfield and Jack Yates, and also works by Ben Parry, Ola Gjeilo, Arturs Maskats and Eric Ešenvalds. We are now looking forward to upcoming events including music by Ben Parry for a recording in January.

Chloe Wedlake, 2nd Year Alto & Music Student

Vaughan Williams and Fauré in October

On Sunday 22nd of October, the choir were invited to sing Mass at St Bartholomew-the-Great in London. The setting of this service was the Mass in G Minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams, written for double choir with 4 solo parts, and is a piece that the choir loves performing. The motet at the Offertory was The Deer's Cry by Arvo Pärt. The text in this very atmospheric piece is taken from the prayer of St Patrick, or the Lorica - a prayer for protection. We thoroughly enjoyed singing this service; it was a beautiful space to sing in and we were made to feel most welcome.

The Chapel Choir’s first external concert of the year saw a great attendance in St Martin-in-the-Fields. Trafalgar Square. Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music began the concert, featuring members of the choir as soloists. The concert continued with two orchestral pieces performed by the Brandenburg Sinfonia, Elgar’s Sospiri and Debussy’s Danses sacrĂ©e et profane, the latter of which saw Royal Holloway alumnus Cecily Beer as harp soloist. The second half of the concert featured FaurĂ©’s Requiem, with soloists again drawn from the choir. An encompassing atmosphere was created from the violin soloist performing from the balcony and soprano soloist (Danielle O'Neill) performing from the rear of the church. After performing the piece in our Midweek Music concert the day before with organ accompaniment, it was a great pleasure to perform the piece with orchestral accompaniment in such stunning surroundings, with a very appreciative audience. The choir look forward to singing Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music again in January, and a return visit to the Brandenburg Festival and St Martin-in-the-Fields in March.

Caroline Woods, 3rd Year Soprano & Music Student and Chloe Wedlake, 2nd Year Alto & Music Student