From the first, haunting notes of the opening solo of Once in Royal David’s City (sung by Year 6 Chorister, Sebastian), it was clear that this year’s Carol Service in Worcester Cathedral was going to be something truly special.
The sight of a full nave filled the Prep School children with excitement and anticipation, and everyone settled in to enjoy the first proper Carol Service at King’s St Alban’s for two years. What a joy it was to be back!
The timeless Christmas story told through readings, carols and prayers, against the backdrop of the magnificent Worcester Cathedral, made for a memorable occasion for everyone. Confident, clear reading from all the children (some as young as seven years old) enabled the audience to hear every word.
The music was beautiful, and the congregation enjoyed singing favourite traditional carols such as Ding Dong Merrily and Hark the Herald, as well as being introduced to less familiar pieces by the choirs. The Junior Choir gave a poignant performance of If I’d been there, bringing tears to a few eyes. The Senior Choir followed suit with a rousing and exciting rendition of Nowell for the Merrie Citie which brought a smile to everyone’s face.
Our Year 6 instrumentalists, ably led by Mrs Atkinson, joined the organ in accompanying the congregational carols. This meant that they had a very busy service, with lots of moving between items. They coped with admirable calm and efficiency, playing and singing with equal gusto.
This year’s service was a real celebration of local composers. Samuel Hudson conducted the Choristers in his beautiful setting of ‘omorrow Shall be my Dancing Day and we were pleased to welcome Catherine Cantin and Elizabeth Keetley-Smith to hear our performance of their delicate French carol, Anges dans le Ciel.
This was a wonderful service. As a Year 3 pupil said afterwards, “I totally loved all of it!.” I think we would all heartily agree. It has certainly set Christmas off to a fine start!