School Captain bows out as Christmas festivities bring the term to a close

Festive music from the traditional to the new – and from the sublime to the droll – heralded the start of the Christmas holidays for boys at QE.

First came the Christmas Concert in the Shearly Hall, which is held in association with the Rotary Club of Barnet. Some 240 boys performed in a programme featuring old favourites, including O come, all ye faithful and Hark! The herald angels sing, and new arrangements of traditional carols, such as the Carol of the bells. There were contributions from the Senior Indian Ensemble, while the School Choir raised the rafters with the hit, Let it go, from Disney’s Frozen.

""Among many highlights were the Concert Band punching their way through some of the best-loved numbers from the musical, Chicago, and the Chamber Choir’s performance of The twelve days after Christmas – a comical imagining of what happens after the events described in the original song; it starts with the lines ‘The first day after Christmas / My true love and I had a fight/And so I chopped the pear tree down/ And burnt it, just for spite’!

""Minced pies and mulled wine were served at the interval, after which the Rotary Club’s raffle was drawn in aid of the organisation’s charitable causes. Senior Music Colours were also awarded to a number of boys for their commitment and excellence by the Director of Music, Cheryl Horne.

Guests at the Christmas Concert included The Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet, Councillor David Longstaff and Gillian Griffiths, while at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols in St John the Baptist Church, Barnet, the VIP party included the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sury Khatri, as well as former Headmaster Eamonn Harris and former Second Master Eric Houston.

""The traditional service of congregational carols, readings and carols performed by the School Choir and Chamber Choir is attended by all Year 7s and their parents. The introit ranged from I look from afar, by the 16th century Italian Renaissance composer, Palestrina, to Benjamin Britten’s A hymn to the virgin.

""During the service, outgoing School Captain Varun Vassanth read the sixth lesson, in which St Luke tells of the birth of Jesus – his last formal public duty in office before Year 12 pupil Oliver Robinson takes over as the new School Captain in the New Year. Headmaster Neil Enright gave the final reading, the famous prologue to St John’s gospel in which he unfolds the mystery of the incarnation.

The final week’s festivities also included Christmas lunch in the Dining Hall: staff and boys came together to enjoy turkey with all the trimmings.