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CCCS’s Pembroke choristers sing their first Evensong

Posted on 3rd Nov, 2019

For the first time in almost thirty years, three Christ Church Cathedral School choirs sang simultaneously in three Oxford college chapels last night. In an inaugural evensong at Pembroke College, the 12 CCCS boys who are newly appointed Pembroke choristers, sang music by Elgar and Walmisley.

Pembroke’s decision to recruit a line of trebles to sing alongside the adult members of their chapel choir marks a historic moment for both school and college. The boys were auditioned before half term and rehearsed for the first time lastThursday.

Sophie Biddell, Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral School, said: "We could not be more delighted that there is such an appetite for singing among our pupils that – despite our small size – we now field three boys’ choirs: the Cathedral choristers, the trebles who sing at Worcester College, and now the choristers at Pembroke. This new partnership will not only train the boys musically, but it also allows them to access all the wider benefits of regular, serious singing: team-work, confidence, cultural enrichment and – for the founding Head Choristers – leadership.

"It is vital that boys start building their musical skills at a young age, as keen trebles tend to grow into the adult basses, tenors and countertenors on whom so much of the British choral tradition depends. We are incredibly proud that the immense enthusiasm of the new Pembroke choristers will play a part in supporting this vibrant tradition well into the future."

Richard Murray, Headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School, said: "It is lovely for our boys to be singing in the closest college chapel to our school and I look forward to developing a relationship with Pembroke, our nearest neighours, on the other side of Brewer Street.

"We recently had our first Exeter chorister reunion 30 years after our trebles stopped singing at the college.  It was evident to me, the lifelong effect that the experience had on these former choristers. I am delighted that a new generation of college boy choristers is now in existence."

        

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