Year 6 Quiristers' Dubbing
Tuesday 20 September saw the annual Quirister dubbing; the ceremony which admits them as full members of the choir. This year’s service was special in many ways.
Proceedings started – or rather didn’t start – with a delay due to a fire alarm being triggered in the chapel; thankfully a false alarm. This led to the surreal experience of walking into chapel to what seemed like bagpipes, some final salute to our dear late Queen Elizabeth II for whom so many pipes had been heard over preceding days. But no, it was the more prosaic fire alarm! This meant that, in what the Headmaster called ‘the opposite of Candelmass’, the first act of the service was to blow out all the candles in the chapel ‘so as to allow the alarm system to be reset and … the scholars’ dinner to be cooked’!
Once normal service was resumed, we were able to concentrate on the matter in hand. Rian, Patrick and Timothy were each in turn inducted into the choir by the Headmaster. They were then given their surpluses by the Head Quiristers, and the requisite adjustments made to allow arms to protrude in the right places and throats to be liberated from twisted cotton, once again to sing God’s praises!
The canticles were technically challenging but beautifully sung. The anthem, the Evening Prayer by Balfour Gardiner (often better known by its first line ‘Te Lucis Ante Terminam’) was sung beautifully. The piece ended with the magical phrase where the choir's dynamics move from piano to mezzo forte and back twice, before a third time ending in the pianissimo of the last chord.
After the service Q parents joined the Qs for a drinks reception in the Octagon where Howard welcomed the new Qs and we all enjoyed a drink and nibbles while getting to know the new Qs and their parents. I was struck by the thought that this simple routine of replacing the old Quiristers who move on with their successors has been going on for hundreds of years, so maintaining this wonderful tradition of which we are all so proud and privileged to be a part for our own all-too-brief brief tenure!
Henry Barda, Y5 and Y7 Q Parent