Glenalmond Choral Day

The Year 7 Choir was driven to Glenalmond to take part in the annual Prep Schools’ Choral day. There was lots to do as well as practise for the evening service. We had a fascinating session on “Flight” given by Mr Jeffers, who showed us how to make paper planes that could fly over the huge building into the next Quad! We watched the Pipe Band perform and march round the Quad.
The concert went well and we sang Parry’s “I Was Glad”, “I will lift up MIne Eyes,””For the Fallen”and some well-known hymns. Magnus Hextall read excellently from “The BFG” by Roald Dahl.
We had supper out in Perth and stayed overnight at the college. During the weekend, we enjoyed meeting Old Mowdenians, and Old Sauveterrian and a former Mowden Director of Music, Mr Henry Wallace.

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Glenalmond Choral Day – a note from the Choir Director
Wonderful food, hospitality, camaraderie and (mostly) weather – all features of the successful Year 7 Choir Trip to beautiful Perthshire.  But at the heart of proceedings, in Glenalmond’s awe-inspiring Chapel, was the thoughtfully constructed evening service, in which members of Mowden choir had been invited to participate, along with singers from four other prep schools and the host’s own impressive Chapel Choir.  The combined forces performed three challenging but rewarding works, directed by Glenalmond’s Director of Music Tim Ridley and expertly accompanied by Ian Crabbe, interspersed with a mixture of rousing and contemplative hymns, a variety of prose and poetry readings and an address and prayers delivered by the Rev’d Giles Dove.
The themes of faith, trust and remembrance  figured prominently in both words and music, resulting in some moving moments – in particular the rendition of Mark Blatchly’s poignant ‘For the fallen‘ immediately following Magnus’s clear and charming reading from Roald Dahl’s ‘BFG’ (sounds incongruous, but it worked!)  Except in a Cathedral choir, children of this age would rarely have the opportunity to work on compositions as technically demanding as Colin Mawby’s spare and haunting ‘I will lift up my eyes‘ or of the scale and complexity of Parry’s thrilling ‘I was Glad’ – such experiences can create memories which last a life time.
We are hugely grateful to Dr Ridley for organising the event, and to the staff and pupils at Glenalmond who made us feel so welcome.  Very many thanks too to the Mateys (for the packing), the Kitchen staff (for the box of goodies), the Mowden parents who travelled to support our children at the service, and, last but by no means least, to Mr Fowlds and Mr Spencer for accompanying us on the trip.
Margaret Roberson

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