"Bolton School was such a large part of my life. I can safely say that I would not be doing what I do for a living if it wasn’t for the vibrant arts scene at the school and the encouragement that I was given."

Neil Eckersley, Former Pupil and Theatre Producer

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Joyous Christmas Celebration in the Victoria Hall

Monday, 16 December 2013

As a result of standing-room only audiences at past Christmas concerts this year’s Boys’ Division Christmas Festival was held in the Victoria Hall in Bolton town centre.

Mr Martin, Director of Music in the Boys’ Division, welcomed the large gathering of parents, governors, teachers and friends from across the Bolton School Foundation to the Victoria Hall. He conceded that whilst it was different from the Boys’ Great Hall it allowed everyone to be seated and to enjoy a great view. The evening of worship through song and word then opened with the soaring voices of the Chamber Choir, performing Welcome Yule

The Reverend Mark Cowling, the Young Adults’ Missioner for Bolton and Salford, provided an invitation to worship before Year 7 boys sang the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City; they were then supported by the full Choir of several hundred voices and they, in turn, were joined by the entire audience. The roof was almost lifted off the hall! 

Throughout the evening, there was much wonderful singing of classic carols and Christmas songs including Away in a Manger, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! While Shepherds Watched, Mary’s Boy Child, Shine Jesus Shine and O Come, all Ye Faithful. The School Choir, the Chamber Choir and the Year 7 Choir performed admirably throughout the evening and were at times accompanied by the rousing voices of the whole congregation. There were arresting renditions of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, De Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy and of Glory to God from Handel’s Messiah. An 80 piece orchestra filled the stage and provided accomplished and melodious backing throughout the evening. 

The evening was punctuated by many fine readings and reflections by boys from across the Years 7 to 13; the recitations, expertly chosen by RE teacher Mrs Fox, ranged from the biblical to the contemporary. Reverend Cowling gave a thoughtful and uplifting Meditation on the importance of being brave in standing up for good and how, as a peace-maker, your actions can ripple out for years. Special tribute was made to Nelson Mandela and a Tweet by Jay-Z was referenced when he said that by sitting Rosa Parks allowed Martin Luther King to walk who allowed Barack Obama to run so that we now might fly. 

Headmaster Mr Britton brought the evening to a close by thanking the readers and Mrs Fox, the orchestra, the choirs, the Reverend, the audience and Mr Martin and the Music Department who had put in much work to prepare the pupils for the evening. He congratulated everyone in providing a wonderful sound in the Victoria Hall and felt it important that the School is brought into town on such occasions, as it is very proud to take its part in the local community. 

The School looks forward to returning to the Victoria Hall on Wednesday 12 February for its Gala Concert.

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The choirs were supported by a large orchestra which filled the stage

The choirs were supported by a large orchestra which filled the stage

The mixed voices of the Chamber Choir sang as beautifully as ever

The mixed voices of the Chamber Choir sang as beautifully as ever

Holding the Concert in the Victoria Hall in Bolton meant seats and views for everyone!