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A rousing performance at the Wykeham Day Concert


Benefitting from rather more musicians than were recently squeezed into the organ loft at Westminster Abbey, the Winchester College Symphony Orchestra gave monumental support to the Chapel Choir as they opened the Wykeham Day Concert with Hubert Parry’s “I Was Glad”.

Oli Tarney conducted a rousing performance of a work that in itself encapsulated so much of the Q’s purpose and hard work this year. And what a joy it was to see Howard Ionascu, Sarah Baldock and Iain Smith singing with them in the back rows.

As the orchestra left the stage, it was striking just how many instrumentalists rejoined the ranks of the choir: a visible testament to the all-round musical expectations and experience fostered in the Chapel Choir and from which the Qs benefit so much.

The mood in New Hall changed as the choir sang Monteverdi’s “Beatus Vir”. The lightness of the piece contrasted with the hot summer’s evening outside. Under Howard Ionascu’s baton, Sebastian B’s beautiful treble voice introduced a truly joyful rendition, sung with a wonderful sparkle. The smiles matched the applause.

Wykeham Day service

The boys show no evidence of losing their passion as the end of year approaches and the Qs - indeed the whole Chapel Choir - continued in top form at the Wykeham Day service.

They watched Howard Ionascu like hawks from the moment Benjamin Cunningham set out on that excitingly familiar introduction to Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” and their attention did not waver until the last note had been sung.

”And all the people rejoiced” indeed: the result was thrilling, colourful, joyful and quite memorable for performers and congregation alike.

Wojtek Rakowicz


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