Musicians lift spirits with Christmas sound and vision

Musicians lift spirits with Christmas sound and vision

Pupils of all ages served up a Christmas musical feast, ending the year with a virtual concert of festive favourites. 

Building on the success of the November concert, the 2020 Christmas concert again featured high-quality audio recordings of socially distanced ensembles, and this time there was video, too. 

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “I am delighted that even amid the current restrictions, we were able to give our musicians the opportunity to play together in ensembles and to perform for a concert. I pay tribute to them for the high standards they achieved, and I trust that the recordings will lift the spirits of the entire Elizabethan community at this difficult time. 

“I congratulate our Music department staffwho have worked hard to master both the extensive logistical considerations of bringing ensembles together in a Covid-safe manner and the technology that has made all this possible.”  

During the last week of term, singers and instrumentalists were recorded performing carols and other traditional and contemporary Christmas music in an empty Chipping Barnet Parish Church and in the School’s Shearly Hall.  

Both venues were chosen because they were large enough to allow full social distancing. To make the experience as close to a live concert as possible, boys were asked to turn out in ‘concert dress’, where available – white shirts, instead of the normal light blue, and Music ties.  

Some of the recordings by the senior musicians in the church were played to Year 7 at the School in an end-of-term Carol Service which also included readings and some live carol-singing. Later, these recordings, together with those from the Shearly Hall, were uploaded to YouTube as separate videos, each with its own opening and closing titles and credits. These eight Christmas Concert videos are now available on the QE Music Department YouTube Channel.  

The programme is:  

School Choir Trebles and Altos: Once in Royal David’s City – Gauntlett arr. Willcocks 

School Choir Tenors and Basses: O Come All Ye Faithful – J F Wade arr. Willcocks 

Junior Wind: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Martin and Blane arr. Edmondson  

Junior Strings: Silent Night – traditional arr. Morgan 

Senior Orchestra: Trepak – Tchaikovsky arr. StoryTidings of Comfort and Joy – traditional arr. StoryJingle Bells Forever – Pierpont and Sousa 

Barbershop Quartet: We wish you a Merry Christmas – arr. Julien Neel 

Year 13 Choir I: The First Nowell – W Sandy’s Christmas Carols 1933 arr. Dan Forrest 

Year 13 Choir II: Personent Hodie – arr. Holst.