The chapel was full to capacity for the first of our Carol Services on Sunday evening.
Regarded as the start of the festive season by many and renowned for its quality, the Nine lessons are read at each service by pupils and staff and the music is led by the acclaimed Chapel Choir. Familiar hymns and thrilling descants interweave with carols from the choir and the much-loved bible readings to retell the story of Christ's nativity. The Lower School service also featured a poised and moving performance of Bob Chilcott's 'Midwinter' by Year 7 and 8 vocal ensembles, Bel Canto and BVox.
The Chapel Choir held the congregation spellbound through a tapestry of carols which ranged from the comfortably familiar - Handel's 'For unto us a child is born' from 'Messiah' and John Rutter's ravishing 'What sweeter music?' - to less familiar and more recent fare, such as Will Todd's beautiful 'Softly', William Mathias' 'Sir Christemas' and a gorgeous and fresh setting of Christina Rossetti's poem 'In the bleak midwinter' by composer and friend of the choir, Richard Allain. The iconic first verse solo in 'Once in Royal David's City' was capably sung by Year 7 choristers Cameron Forrest (Sunday) and Sammy Caygill (Tuesday) and Year 8 chorister Dominic Cowie (Thursday).
The musical programme also paid due homage to choral legend and ex-Director of the choir of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks who died in September. Alongside some of his peerless descants, the choir also sang his characteristically exuberant setting of the traditional 'Sussex Carol'.