22 May 2023
Isabel L, Music Ribbon
The Chapel Choir’s wonderful visit to Eton on Sunday 14 May began with a very enjoyable hour-long rehearsal with the Eton College Chapel Choir. This was led by Mr Johnson, Eton College’s Precentor and Director of Music, who showed us how to interpret a piece of music by treating it as a ‘sat nav’ to create a sense of direction to it. We also learnt a lot about diction and articulation in choral music.
The evensong service included several hymns, a psalm, the Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis and an anthem. With most of our choir members not having previously participated in any evensongs, the repertoire was a challenge for us. We most enjoyed the anthem, ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’ by John Rutter, as we experienced the full harmony of a mixed choir for the first time. It was a lovely evening to be able to worship God in such a beautiful, historical Chapel.
While at Eton I was very honoured to have the chance to play some Brahms Preludes on a four-manual organ before the service*. The main organ of seven at Eton College it has built-in mechanical action and lovely acoustics across the Chapel, producing a rich and warm tone, which was perfect in the run up to the service.
Thank you to Mr Johnson and organist Mr Allsop from Eton College for their hospitality and for sharing valuable musical insights, which will help us progress in our future performances. Thank you too to Mr Sparks and Fr Gerry for organising such an incredible experience for us, as well as supporting us throughout.
*Following a successful audition earlier this year, Isabel will study the organ at the Royal Academy of Music on Saturdays from September.