Our Choristers enjoy a varied and exciting schedule which includes tours, recordings, visits out and about, and Evensongs in Chichester Cathedral.
A Look Back at the Last Academic Year
The last academic year was a particularly full and exciting one for the choir. In the centenary year of Leonard Bernstein's birth, it was a great privilege for Chichester to host a performance of Chichester Psalms in November with the choirs of Winchester and Salisbury, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the composer's student Marin Alsop on the podium. Jago, the Chichester Head Chorister, performed the treble solo with absolute mastery and assurance; we were all glowing with pride!
During the course of the year, Jago appeared in a major BBC TV drama, MotherFatherSon, which starred Richard Gere and Sarah Lancashire. November also saw the launch of our new CD, a commemorative disc for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice entitled Lest We Forget. Released on the Signum label, the recording was made in partnership with the veterans' charity Combat Stress, which will receive a share of the revenue from sales. It was good to see that a short promotional video had over 30,000 viewings on social media.
The choir continued its ministry around the diocese, with visits to the wonderful Saxon church of St Nicholas in Worth, and St Richard's, Heathfield. In March we were delighted to join forces with friends from Portsmouth Cathedral at a service to install our former Chancellor, Anthony Cane, Dean of that Cathedral. A concert at Beaulieu Abbey Church in the same month was attended by a large and appreciative audience (and preceded by a visit to the National Motor Museum!).
Early in the Summer Term, we travelled to St Stephen's, Bournemouth, to sing Evensong as part of the church's annual festival. No few than five former cathedral organists were among the congregation, including our own Dr Alan Thurlow.
As part of our Lenten observance, a special liturgy was devised to include the performance of Bach's Cantata No 22. it was a great pleasure to be joined by Chichester University's Baroque Orchestra, and to give a platform to some of the fine solo voices in our choir's back row. This service attracted an unexpectedly large congregation of over 200.
During December, the traditional run of concerts at the Festival Theatre was enjoyed by a combined audience of 6000, and we were thrilled to sing a piece by one of our Lay Vicars, George Haynes, at our carol services.
Recruitment of choristers has been strong this year, and we are looking forward to having a full complement of trebles at the start of the new academic year.
After the Southern Cathedrals Festival, which was held this year in Chichester, we bade farewell to our Year 8 boys who departed for Charterhouse and Lancing respectively.
Did you know Prebendal Choristers have won the highly-acclaimed BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year title not once but twice in recent years?! Rafi Bellamy Plaice won in 2017 and Isaac Waddington won in 2012.