The Joys of Carol Singing

Over the past nine days our choir has been incredibly busy. They started off singing at St Mary’s in Stafford, part of a celebration of Christmas featuring a number of local schools. Performing at such a venue is always an honour and it was a wonderful experience for our children. This was followed by the news last weekend that no fewer than five of our children have passed a very stiff audition and have been invited to join the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain. Many congratulations to Charlie Hughes, William Fenton, Milli Fryer, Henry White, Charlie Hardwick, and Isabella Baggaley who join Poppy Moseley, Saffron Faulder and Rebecca Frost who are already in the NCC. For a school of our size to have eight children in the NCC is a remarkable achievement and places them amongst the very best singers for their age in the country. Indeed, the primary school section of the Choir only numbers 40 or so singers, so we are providing 20% which is absolutely outstanding.

Thursday evening was our annual carol service in the school chapel. I must have been to somewhere around thirty school carol services and I can honestly say that I struggle to think of a more moving experience than processing into the candlelit chapel at the start of the service. Every single child who was involved in the service played their part magnificently and it really was a wonderful service.

We followed this up with a visit to the Denstone Farm Shop on Friday where the choir entertained the shoppers with an array of carols and Christmas songs. This was the first time we had done this and I very much hope that it will become an annual event. The children were certainly very well received by everyone at the Farm Shop. Live music certainly adds something to a shopping experience, particularly at Christmas and I am very grateful to Rupert and Emma Evans for allowing us to visit their establishment and making us feel so welcome.

Finally the choir had to drag their weary limbs up to Denstone on Sunday for the College’s carol service. In a sense this was a “grown-up” version of our carol service. It was an enormous privilege to be part of such a wonderful service. Once again the children excelled themselves and played a hugely significant part in what was a wonderful service. I have been incredibly proud of the way that our children have risen to the musical challenges that have come their way over the past few days. They have had to challenge themselves to make four very high profile performances and each time they have stepped up to the plate and been an enormous credit to themselves and to our school and I would like to thank every one of them.

Jerry Gear