The Carol Service, held in the School’s superb Chapel, especially candle-lit for the occasion, was led by our three choirs, the Senior Choir, made up from 72 students from Year 9 upwards, our auditioned Chamber Choir, making its home debut after a successful tour to Italy in the summer, and our Year 7 singers.
The carols were accompanied on the Chapel’s Walker organ by Old Blue Lee Ward, who is Director of Music at Liverpool Cathedral and Blue Coat Ambassador for the School’s Father Willis organ restoration project. Year 7 student Albie Emery beautifully sang the solo opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City.
Mr Emery said: “The carol service is always a highlight of the school’s musical year and is a fine opportunity for our choirs once again to tell the Christmas story through a series of choir and congregational carols. All three choirs rose to the occasion and my particular thanks goes to Lee Ward for his supportive accompanying.
“For the Chamber Choir to give a such an amazing rendition of O Magnum Mysterium proves it was the right time to start this group for our advanced singers.”
After the Carol Service the audience packed out the Shirley Hall to hear all of the school’s instrumental ensembles perform a variety of Christmas music in the Concert of Festive Music. On show were the school’s Senior Orchestra, Intermediate String Group, Intermediate and Advanced Early Music as Education groups, Concert Band, Jazz Band and Brass Ensemble, alongside talented Year 13 vocalists Jamil Abbasi and Natalia Barton.
The Music Department’s Miss Horton, who conducted several of the Festive Concert’s pieces, said: “The audience really enjoyed the event and the players all performed so well. I was very pleased with the Concert Band’s French carol Patapan. The Jazz Band just love anything you give them and Deck the Halls With All Sorts of Funky and Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas were a terrific finale.”
Prior to the Carol Service, a successful Blue Coat Supporters’ Festive Drinks event was held in the Robert Styth Study Library to thank guests who had supported the School and its Development Team to provide extra resources for students.