Singing their hearts out

As is the annual tradition, Challoner’s celebrated the Christmas season with its usual dynamism, with choral services high on the agenda.

After several weeks of rehearsal, the choir performed first to Years 7 to 10 in two services during the school day. Mrs Whittle told the story of Franz Gruber and how misfortune had led him to penning one of the most well-known carols – Silent Night – whilst the transformation of Scrooge from miser to kind man was also read, along with several Biblical readings about the birth of Jesus.

On Wednesday evening, St Mary’s Church became the venue for the last of the services, with a packed congregation of teachers, students, governors and parents – in addition to members of the public – partaking in the traditional Challoner’s event.

Audio: //embeds.audioboom.com/boos/3961762-gaudete-traditional/embed/v3?link_color=%23173F7A&image_option=none

Audio: //embeds.audioboom.com/boos/3961820-o-come-all-ye-faithful/embed/v3?link_color=%23173F7A&image_option=none

Mr Tansley directed the choir in renditions of some old favourites like Gaudete and Sir Christemas, coupled with some brand new repertoire. Miss Gee conducted the Junior Choir in a Christmas blessing and Dr Fenton, for whom the service would be the last for him as headmaster, led a rousing arrangement of Ding Dong Merrily on High. Overall, a high standard of music was attained and it was a testament to the effort put in by students and teachers alike.

Audio: //embeds.audioboom.com/boos/3961761-ding-dong-merrily-on-high-wilberg/embed/v3?link_color=%23173F7A&image_option=none

Reverend Tim Harper presided over the service and also making a welcome return was Dr Alexander Flood, an Old Challoner and expert organist, who accompanied each work with skill.

It was a fantastic evening for all involved, giving a poignant chance to reflect on the year at a busy point in the Christmas season, sing some archetypal hymns and carols, and celebrate the festivity of Christmas. Thanks must go to everyone involved in organising these services, which are a regular feature of the Challoner’s calendar. Let’s hope for more of the same next year.