Northampton Academy choir sang with hundreds of their peers from across the country in a special concert in Southwark Cathedral. The students travelled to London to sing in the premiere performance of Wassail! Carols of Comforts and Joy – a brand new musical score composed by renowned composer Alexander L’Estrange.
United Learning’s Partnership Fund, which seeks to enhance the opportunities available to pupils commissioned the piece as a way of opening up the world of choral singing to students across the Group - the piece itself draws on folk traditions with a modern twist influenced by both jazz and modern choral music.
The performances were the result of months of intensive rehearsals. Northampton Academy choir have been learning and practising the piece since the beginning of term but only joined with the other schools on the day of the performance. In preparation, students had participated in singing and performance workshops led by the VCM scholars and performers from the acclaimed choral ensemble, Apollo 5.
Miss Davenhill, Head of Music at Northampton Academy, said:
“The students have really been enjoying the rehearsals, showing real determination at each rehearsal, they were very excited to have this fantastic opportunity to sing at Southwark Cathedral with the other United Learning schools. I am incredibly proud of the choir, who sang brilliantly and represented Northampton Academy really well.”
Choir member Lacey said, “I love being in the choir and I never thought I would have the opportunity to sing in a Cathedral with so many other choirs from the United Learning group, it was a truly memorable experience.” Student Julia added, “My favourite part of the song Gaudete is the harmony, the altos and sopranos come together to make a really nice sound, the harmonies sounded amazing when all the school sang together”.
Another student Kirsty enthused, “This was a great experience and something I have not done before. The atmosphere was great and working with the actual composer and arranger, Alexander L’Estrange was fantastic. The choir worked for weeks learning the pieces and I am really happy we got to perform this.”