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Thursday, 11 December 2014
The Junior Boys’ annual Carol Service in the Boys’ Division Great Hall was once again a poignant occasion. A mixture of hymns, choral pieces, readings of poetry and Biblical passages, and musical performances came together for a fantastic Christmas celebration.
The evening opened with a wonderful solo from Farrell Saturley, singing the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ before being joined by the Upper School Choir for the second verse, and by the rest of the school and audience for the rest of the carol.
Throughout the evening, there were opportunities for each group to shine in each of their performances. The Invitational Choir performed traditional pieces, including ‘Panis Angelicus’ and ‘Angelus ad Virginam’. The Lower School Choir sang ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Three Kings’ and ‘Jesus Child’; while the Upper School Choir delighted the audience with ‘This Babe’, ‘Ding Dong’ and the ‘Shepherd’s Pipe Carol’.
These interspersed with a selection of readings, including Bible stories from Luke chapters 1 and 2 and Isiah chapter 9, as well as more contemporary readings on the subject of the Nativity story, with titles such as ‘The Friendly Beasts’ and ‘Softly the Night’.
The whole school also offered up several impressive performances, their voices ringing out clear and strong in the Great Hall. They gave a cheering rendition of ‘This Child’, and also sang the ‘Sans Day Carol’ and the ‘Star Carol’.
The Junior Boys’ String Quartet played ‘Good King Wenceslas’ in a lively and upbeat style which was particularly impressive given the complexity of the piece and the age of the boys involved. Th Recorder Group also gave a performance of ‘Pop Goes Christmas’, which offered a refreshing change of pace to the evening! The piece was a medley of familiar Christmas tunes, including ‘Jingle Bells’ and the perhaps more unexpected ‘Stop the Cavalry’ by Jona Lewie!
In addition, the audience was invited to add their voices to the throng for ‘See Him Lying on a Bed of Straw’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Silent Night’. The Junior Boys’ version of this last carol was multilingual, with the first verse sung by the Year 2 and Year 3 boys in Chinese, and the second and fourth verses in French and German respectively.
The evening concluded with a performance of ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ to which the audience lent their voices, before a final prayer and benediction from Mr Whittaker, Head of the Boys’ Junior School.
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