Choristers and Quiristers sing together in the Cathedral
The Founder's Obit service is a significant date in the Winchester Cathedral and College calendars, celebrating the birth of the College's founder William of Wykeham, who was also Bishop of Winchester between 1367-1404 and was responsible for starting the rebuilding of Winchester Cathedral’s magnificent nave.
For the Chapel Choir Quiristers it is an opportunity, always enjoyed, to sing in the Cathedral alongside their Chorister counterparts.
So it was that Tuesday's Festal Evensong took place in Winchester Cathedral. The double choir and officials processed in to the opening hymn Awake my Soul, their voices floating above a cloud of incense from the dramatic Burning Bush installation in the nave.
The Headmaster, Dr Tim Hands, gave the sermon, emphasising the importance of kindness to others.
The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were beautifully performed to the setting in C by Charles Villiers Stanford; the number of treble voices produced a glorious rich sound, sending the holy phrases up into the generous clouds of incense - the final Gloria even more rousing than the first.
Balfour Gardiner’s Evening Hymn was the anthem, using a Latin text that is already familiar to regulars at Compline; even at full blast, the organ was no match for this impressive sounding choir.
Dean Catherine and Rev Dr Hester Jones processed to the tomb of William of Wykeham in the Cathedral nave and further blessed the College's founder with prayers and incense.
After a final rousing hymn, we were sent out to the strains of Widor’s 6th Symphony opening movement which demonstrated the full range of the organ, expertly played by the Cathedral’s Sub-Organist Joshua Stephens who had accompanied the choirs throughout the service.
A happy band of Choristers and Quiristers returned to school having successfully completed one of their joint services. Well done to all.
Drusilla & Robert Brodrick