World premiere performance at Southwark Cathedral

We were beyond excited to present our first summer Orchestral and Choral concert since 2019, and to showcase the return of our major ensembles – Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Schola Cantorum – in the stunning surroundings of Southwark Cathedral.

There were times during the pandemic when it felt as though music was at risk of being permanently silenced. Thankfully those dark days seem to be behind us, and since September Alleyn’s staff and pupils have been overjoyed to be able to return, finally, to something resembling normality and to enjoy unrestricted collegiate music-making once again.

Amongst numerous stellar performances, the newly formed Schola Cantorum sang a challenging programme of Byrd and Stenhammar in 8-part harmony with incredible assurance and musical shaping. They showed a clear love for the subtleties and nuances of the music, responding to ensemble leader Mr Beatty’s direction with real sensitivity.

Chris Fish, Conductor of Symphony Orchestra commented that the Orchestra "performed a hugely mature and challenging programme in an incredibly impressive manner. From the World Premiere of Thomas Hewitt Jones's Overture, through the sublime Prelude by Debussy to the rousing New World Symphony, our superb young musicians played amazingly well, performing music that few school orchestras would even attempt."

Thomas Hewitt Jones was delighted with the premiere of his piece, sending this message to Chris Fish and the Orchestra: "HEARTFELT THANKS! And hugely bravo for your amazing premiere - I loved your rendition over my friend's iPhone and just really admire what you did with that brilliant orchestra."

Joanna Doley, Conductor of Chamber Orchestra agreed that: "Jemima's performance of the Bach was simply beautiful; a lively and fizzy opening followed by a serene and at times very moving slow movement, with listeners commenting on how emotional the performance made them feel. Chamber Orchestra truly sparkled in the Dag Wiren piece, managing to find the wit and fun the Swedish composer intended, yet never letting go of the detail they had worked so hard to achieve - stunning! I truly hope each player is super happy, smiley and proud - I am!"

Chris Dearmer, Director of Music summed up the whole evening saying: "The concert at Southwark was a jubilant return for our major ensembles, in their first summer Orchestral and Choral concert since 2019. It was such a joy to perform in the inspiring surroundings of Southwark Cathedral, the perfect setting to showcase Symphony Orchestra, Schola Cantorum, Chamber Orchestra, and Chamber Choir, all producing music of the highest quality. And two simply sublime solos from two of our departing Year 13s, Jem Ward and Clemmie Thompson. It was a remarkable evening, and we are proud of all the students who worked so hard and contributed so much. Pandemic? What pandemic?"

The pupils who performed showed commitment, dedication, good-humour and endless enthusiasm for all things music, and we can’t wait to see their future performances.