Last Wednesday saw the annual Christmas Carol Service in the magnificent and historic setting of St Mary’s Church in Old Amersham. Despite the fact that the snow had postponed the services for the lower school earlier in the week the service went on ahead.

Having rehearsed rigorously over the past weeks, the choristers of the school Chamber Choir finally got the chance to demonstrate their hard work. They sang six carols in total, including Angelus ad Virginem, a carol proclaiming the Annunciation, and Sans Day Carol, a traditional Cornish carol arranged by John Rutter. Of course, they also sang the popular Gaudete, which dates back to the 16th century, and translates as ‘Rejoice’.

Audio: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/369204539&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false

St Mary’s was graced with the beautiful melodies of What Sweeter Music by John Rutter, sung by Zach Yarrow’s Sixth Form Chamber Choir. The piece was originally written for the choir of King’s College Cambridge and Zach's ambitious undertaking of this song demonstrates the high standard of his leadership and the dedication of his choir.

Audio: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/369204293&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false

Sadly, the Carol Service was Miss Gee’s last concert at Challoner’s; in the New Year she is going to start in her new position at the Royal Masonic School. Miss Gee has had a wonderful career at Challoner’s and has been an inspiration for many young musicians. She will be sorely missed.

Thanks must go to Mr Tansley, Miss Gee and Zach Yarrow for directing the choirs, as well as to Dr Flood for accompanying them. Furthermore, thanks must go to the readers who told the Biblical story of Christmas so beautifully. The concert was thoroughly enjoyed by the school community and the wider public - a testament to the hard work put in behind the scenes. The service was certainly a wonderful festive start to the Christmas period and it must also be said that both choirs sounded especially good this year.