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Winchester College Chapel Choir – Cloister Time Concert


A rousing end-of-year choral finale and fund-raising success.

A packed Winchester College chapel thoroughly enjoyed this Cloister Time concert, performed by the Chapel Choir, accompanied by Ben Cunningham and directed by Howard Ionascu. It was a rousing send-off for the senior Quiristers (from The Pilgrims’ School) and those final-year ATBs (from the College), many of whom had been Quiristers themselves, just five years ago.

The programme was varied and all-the-more enjoyable for it. Giles Swayne’s Magnificat reflected the soaring vocals and harmonies of his recordings in Africa, while Charles Villiers Stanford’s For Lo, I Raise Up captured the interplay of solos between the front and back rows of the choir.

Felix Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, magnificently introduced by an extended solo from Thomas R, was powered by the full choir at its crescendo, suitably preparing the audience for the emotion of Herbert Howells’ Magnificat.

There followed a ‘full immersion scramble” when the choir rearranged itself to mix up the voices for Eleanor Daley’s Upon Your Heart, even to this untrained ear, the “surround sound” effect was tremendous. Finally, William Walton’s The Twelve was performed in the presence of Robert Bottone, still a piano teacher at Winchester College, who played the organ in The Twelve’s debut performance at Christchurch, Oxford, in 1965, when William Walton himself turned the pages!

All pieces made the most of the intimate surroundings and special acoustics of the College Chapel, which continues the magnificent traditions of worship and performance, in good stead after the disruptions of recent years.

The retiring collection raised over £300 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, chosen by the Quiristers themselves.

Philip Guest






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