On 18 December, a dark and rainy night, around 700 parents, staff and friends of the College congregated in the magnificent and historic surroundings of the Royal Memorial Chapel at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst for an uplifting service of Nine Lessons and Carols, directed and performed by the College Music Department.
This festive musical celebration is one of the few occasions in the year where the entire College community is invited to come together. The setting for this year’s Service was especially pertinent given the centenary markings of the First World War armistice. Traditional carols such as “Once in royal David’s city” and “Hark! The herald angels sing”, which brought the evening to a rousing close, were blended beautifully with contemporary settings of traditional texts, including two world premieres of ‘Silent Night’ by Professor Tim Cain and ‘The First Nowell’, by the College’s very own Curriculum Manager for music, Ben Dowsett. This year, the traditional Latin Introit was replaced by a moving Remembrance Anthem sung by candlelight, whilst a bespoke Christmas reef with red poppies was presented by local school children.
Harry White, Curriculum Manager for musical performance said, “This evening was another astonishing achievement by the College's musicians that not only considered the centenary of Armistice Day, but also 100 years since the first Nine Lessons at King’s College, Cambridge. It was appropriate, after an incredibly busy term for the College community, to come together in this way at an exclusive venue such as Sandhurst and celebrate the beginning of the festive season. The Choral Society and Chamber Choir boasts over 130 students between them from across the College. The students' astonishing musicianship was a fitting tribute to the space and to reach such heights, in such a short space of time, was remarkable. They are an inspiring presence and we are so very proud of what they have accomplished.”
Hollie Tibbotts, first year music student commented, “The Royal Memorial Chapel at Sandhurst is a beautiful venue to sing in and it was lovely to see all the hard work we've put in over the past few months pay off. Everyone I spoke to really enjoyed the evening and it was a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year."
A special thanks goes to the stewards from the Lyons Clubs of Farnborough and Yateley for their hard work on the evening.