The King’s School Carol Service in December and King’s Day in July are two of the biggest events in the school calendar with upwards of 1500 pupils, staff, parents, governors, guests and OVs in the Cathedral. The pandemic of 2020 prevented the school from hosting King’s Day and therefore it was a great joy to be able celebrate the Carol Service in the Cathedral on Wednesday 8th December, albeit in a reduced format. It was the first school event in the Cathedral since the Spring Term and the congregation was comprised of the Upper Sixth, who enjoyed pizzas with the Headmaster beforehand, staff and governors. The service was recorded by the Theatre Technicians and will be available to watch at the end of term.
The Chamber Choir under the direction of Assistant Director of Music, Christopher Allsop, was unable to rehearse during the recent lockdown. It is a great credit to them that they were able to learn five carols to perform at the service in just a week. The service began with the procession of the Upper Sixth King’s and Queen’s Scholars before the traditional solo verse of Once in Royal David’s City sung in the Quire by Ella. Covid regulations prevent the singing of hymns by the congregation so those present had the unusual experience of listening to the remainder of this carol as well as later performances of Hark! the Herald Angels sing and O come all ye faithful. The service following the traditional pattern of readings given by pupils and staff interspersed with carols from the Chamber Choir. Particular highlights were an arrangement of Silent Night with Upper Sixth Music Scholar Anna F adding the evocative flute solo and a spiritual-inspired carol called No room, no room by Ruth Gray. Both of these pieces are the basis for a virtual choir collaboration with a school choir from Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. These videos are currently being edited and will be released towards the end of term.
The School would like to thank the Cathedral for being able host our Carol Service amidst all the challenges and restrictions in place. For many in the school community, the carol service marks the beginning of the festive period. We hope that those present on Wednesday and those watching the recording will have a similar sense of expectation as we head into the Christmas season.