Sedbergh School Choral Society returned to Powell Hall on Sunday evening as more than 100 musicians performed one of the most famous choral works in the classical repertoire.

Choral Society is one of the longest-running societies at school, and the most inclusive of the five choirs. Many of its members have no prior experience of choral music and it is unique for being a ‘town and gown’ society, involving members of the wider Sedbergh community. 

The society has a reputation for tackling challenging repertoire, and this year’s challenge was pulled off in an especially short space of time: the choir only started rehearsing in mid-January; they did a marvellous job to put the performance together in such a short space of time.

Mozart wrote this setting of the Requiem Mass whilst on his own death bed, and it was left unfinished when he died in 1791 at the age of just 35. It is now widely accepted that one of his composition pupils, Franz Süssmayr, completed the work. It consists of eight movements, some of which are divided in sub-sections.

The choir was joined by a professional string orchestra and our school organist, Peter Noke. It was particularly pleasing to have a home-grown team of soloists: current Y13 Mollie Richmond (Soprano) was joined by Miss Shaw (Alto) and Mr Steele (Tenor), whilst Jeremy Cowen OS (H) was the Bass soloist.

Director of Music and conductor Chris Allinson said: “The whole school was in attendance for the concert, with it being important to me that everyone has the opportunity to be exposed to this wonderful repertoire that has stood the test of time.”

Soprano soloist Mollie Richmond (R, U6) said: I really enjoyed the experience last night, whilst it was quite stressful and I was very nervous it was an absolutely amazing opportunity and although I’ve had a great deal of experience with music at Sedbergh over the years, this was something entirely new!

I’ve been in choral society a few times however I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated it so much. Singing with such a large group of people is amazing and the sound it creates and the feeling of signing as loud as possible and being one of so many others is really incredible!

It’s different to singing in the school choir and was an amazing opportunity, especially with the talent of the other soloists and the experience they have had; I felt a lot of pressure but I’m really, really glad I did it.”

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