Making QE history! Pupils sing evensong at King’s College Cambridge

Making QE history! Pupils sing evensong at King’s College Cambridge

QE’s Chamber Choir relished the opportunity to sing evensong at King’s College Chapel – one of the world’s most famous venues for church choral music.

Singing alongside the King’s Voices – the college’s mixed-voice choir – in only their fourth-ever evensong, the QE boys not only enjoyed the chance to sing in an inspiring setting, but also to sample the life of a university Choral Scholar.

The historic event also proved to be a draw for Old Elizabethans, with two singing with the choir and other alumni joining the congregation.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “It is a tremendous honour to be invited to sing at King’s College Chapel. This was, therefore, an historic occasion for our School, and one that will live long in the memory.

“I know our boys really enjoyed the chance to sing amid the soaring Gothic architecture of King’s College Chapel. Musically, it was a great success, with the boys attentive and sounding superb in their rendering of Dyson’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D major and Wood’s choral setting of Bramley’s O Thou the Central Orb.

“It was also a pleasure to see alumni turning out to support the current boys – my colleagues and I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with them afterwards.”

Renowned for its choral tradition, including its Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which is broadcast worldwide, King’s College Chapel welcomes members of the university, local residents and tourists to its services.

As well as taking part in afternoon rehearsals, the QE Chamber Choir spent time looking around Cambridge, visiting the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and touring a number of colleges with OEs Raphael Herberg (2015–2022) and Jao-Yong Tsai (2016–2023), who are studying Music at Cambridge and who rejoined QE’s choir for the occasion.

At St John’s College, they had a Q and A session with the current Director of Music, Christopher Gray, where the boys found out more about choral scholarships and asked questions about the application process.

For the evensong back at King’s College, the Chamber Choir were directed by the Interim Assistant Director of Music, Ralph Woodward, who is also the current Director of King’s Voices.

Music teacher Rebecca German said: “We were extremely fortunate to be given the chance to sing evensong at King’s College Chapel; it gave the boys a taster of what life would be like as an Oxbridge Choral Scholar. We hope that a large number of them will go on to apply in the future.”

Current Year 13 student Arjun Patel has won a Choral Scholarship from Merton College, Oxford.

Hovan Sarkissian, of Year 8, said: “It was greatly enjoyable to explore the beautiful sights of Cambridge with my fellow choir members. Even so, nothing could top the truly unforgettable experience of singing with my peers and the King’s College Chapel Choir in such a historic and remarkable place.”

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