Demonstration of the tremendous quality of musical attainment at the Cecilia Concert

The Cecilia Concert is not only a demonstration of the tremendous quality of musical attainment at Bedales but this time is also an engaging tour of classical musical genres. The programme is organised into three phases: we start off dancing, move on to concertos and then conclude with a more metaphysical phase – dying, living and loving. In terms of genres, that’s marching with Keir’s Concert Band’s Sousa’s Procession (led by Elea S) and walzing with the Emperor (impressively moustachioed Franz Josef), led by Georgie G and Jo P. In concerto mode we are being Baroque and delicate, engaging with Corelli and Bach, with Will Lithgow’s Chamber Orchestra, led by strings’ stars, Georgie G, Sofia T and Miriam W. Suitably enough, after all this dancing (some military and some dangerously sensual) and brittle baroque sophistication, the final phase is a bit more solemn and we are preparing for the inevitable: out come different sizes of choirs to speed us on our way, with Schutz’s Nunc Dimittis (based on a prince’s funeral music), Haydn’s Insanae et Vanae (foolish and groundless cares..) and finally Schubert’s poignant Intende Voci Orationis (Listen to the voice of my prayer). The presiding sense is of talented young people, inspired to maximize their abilities, doing difficult things very well and producing something of great beauty. Lucky us.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.