The King’s Chamber Choir today celebrated their virtual festive carol collaboration with Burncoat High School in Massachusetts. The two school choirs from the twinned cities of Worcester, UK and Worcester, USA have collaborated to produce two impressive virtual Christmas carol performances, despite being over 3,200 miles apart.
Dave Twiss, Director of Choral Music at Burncoat High School in Massachusetts, contacted Worcester Mayor’s office with the idea of working on a collaboration with a school from the city. Worcester, in the USA has been a major hot spot for Covid 19 and have suffered from a blanket closure of schools since March with all teaching taking place online for the past ten months.
King’s Worcester, was keen to participate and the idea was formed of collaborating on Christmas carols. Both schools have excellent but different Christmas choral traditions. King’s Worcester founded in 1541, has a close association with the Cathedral; Burncoat High School is somewhat newer, opened in 1964, and has an excellent reputation for it choral program and recently performed with the band Foreigner on their US tour. Each school selected one of their favourite pieces with King’s Worcester selecting ‘Silent Night’ by Stopford and Burnboat High School, selecting ‘No room, No room’ by Ruth Morris Gray. Over 30 pupils from both schools recorded their parts separately before the music staff at each school edited them together.
Director of Music at King’s, Simon Taranczuk, said, ‘Making live music and working alongside fellow pupils in choirs and ensembles is such an important aspect of many pupils’ well-being and the lack of opportunities to do so over the past 10 months has been very challenging. I am delighted to have collaborated with Mr Twiss on this project, and we hope that everyone enjoys the results.’
Worcester, Massachusetts, and Worcester, UK, formally twinned in 1999, with many informal links and friendships blossomed over the year. Worcester, Massachusetts, USA has a population of approximately 169,000 and is a well-known Art hub with five museums and art collections and a world-class concert hall.
“Silent Night” performed by King’s Worcester and Burncoat High School