Singing Evensong at Queens’ College, Cambridge

Queen's-College-Cambridge

By Sampson Keung, 6.2 and Music Don

On Wednesday, the Bedales Choir had the opportunity to go to the University of Cambridge and join the Choir from Queens’ College for their Evensong service in the college chapel. It was a wonderful experience to sing in a beautiful chapel with fantastic acoustics.

Repertoires from the evening included Dyson’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimmitis in D, as well as Haydn’s Insanae et vanae curae. The service was conducted by Eton College’s former Director of Music, Ralph Allwood, who, some will remember, visited Bedales in October 2019 for a sight reading workshop. The audience enjoyed the high quality of singing from the choir, who were accompanied by a former organ scholar from Cambridge, and we were all impressed by his virtuous performance.

As well as the Evensong service, we had the chance to take a tour around the University of Cambridge with Old Bedalian Josh Mazas, who is currently studying at [college]. Thank you so much to Doug McIlwraith for organising this amazing trip, and Jo Mayhook-Walker and Phillip Guy-Bromley for their help with the choir.

Sight Reading Workshop with choral director Ralph Allwood

By Miranda Robertson, Block 3

On 9 October, the renowned conductor and choirmaster Ralph Allwood came to Bedales for a very musical day. Ralph was for many years the Director of Music at Eton College and he now conducts the Choir of Queen’s College Cambridge and the Chapel Choir of Trinity Laban College.

Ralph has recently written a book all about how to sight-sing. All of the singers in the school were given a copy, and all morning we were coached by Ralph. It was a really good workshop and we all improved greatly.  A few of us also had lunch with Ralph and Doug, where we were very fortunate to be given lots of advice about singing and the music industry.

After lunch, the Chamber Choir came together and we sang lots of different pieces we had been working on in choir. Ralph coached us and by the end we sounded like a different choir! A thoroughly enjoyable day – thank you to Doug for organising and Ralph for giving up his time.