Bede's Prep Carol Service
If you were to write a wish-list of the things which capture the essence of Christmas...
Candles, angelic robed choristers, that hushed stillness which precedes those first haunting solo notes of Once in Royal David’s City – you would have found all your wishes coming true at the Prep Carol Service on the last afternoon of the Autumn Term. The sense of expectation from the packed church was profound as the Senior Singers processed to the back of the darkened church; and that expectation was not disappointed.
Over 120 children sang in the Carol Service, including all the children in Years 3 and 4 who make up the Young Singers, a Junior Choir of 45 from Years 5 and 6 and the 25-strong Senior Singers from Years 7 and 8, who sustained a wonderfully varied programme of carols. In just one term, the children had learned carols from France, Russia and the Caribbean, as well as favourites by John Rutter and a stunning new carol by Sasha Manning Johnson, with words by Carol Ann Duffy. New Boy Born proved to be a great hit with the children, as well as with the congregation, and beautifully echoed the words of Eliot’s poem, Journey of the Magi, read so memorably beforehand by our Head Girl, Lara Elder.
The Bede’s Senior School Chamber Choir joined the Prep Choirs to sing a full version of Rutter’s Star Carol at the conclusion of the service, demonstrating that musical continuity which is a real strength of the Trust, and giving the Prep children a chance to perform with these more experienced and confident singers.
The confidence, poise and concentration of all the Prep School singers, but especially of the Senior Choir, belied their years. They carried the occasion with an excellent sense of professionalism and I have high hopes for what might lie ahead for these wonderful pupils. Huge congratulations to everyone involved and many thanks to all my colleagues for their help and support in enabling this wonderful event to take place.