Saturday, February 21, 2015

Schola to sing at King's College, Cambridge

Over the next few weeks the Schola will sing at King's College, Cambridge on two occasions.

On Monday 9 March the whole choir is to sing Evensong alongside Kings Voices, under the direction of Ben Parry. We are very pleased to have been invited to participate in this service, conducted by the director of the National Youth Choir.

That evening we will sing Noble's Evening Service in B minor, Duruflé's Ubi Caritas and Byrd's Civitas Sancti Tui.

A few weeks later, on Good Friday, a number of the trebles are to return to sing in a very exciting event, a performance of James MacMillan's St Luke Passion, alongside boys from Trinity School, Croydon. This performance, with the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by the composer, will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. James MacMillan is a patron of the Vaughan's Schola and wrote a piece for the choir to mark the School's Centenary in September 2014.

The Vaughan may be 100 years old this academic year but the Chapel at Kings is celebrating its 500th birthday in 2015. King's College and its Chapel were founded by Henry VI (1421-71) in 1441. When Henry was killed at the Tower of London in 1471 work on the buildings stopped - no further building was carried out for twenty years until Richard III came to the throne - Richard ordered that anyone holding things up should be imprisoned!

Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 by Henry Tudor, thus ending the Wars of the Roses that had held up the completion of the building for so long. Henry VII was keen that the Chapel be finished quickly and work continued in earnest. When Henry VII died in 1508 he left instructions and money in his will for the final completion. It therefore fell to Henry VIII to complete the building,  adding the extraordinary fan-vaulted roof (the largest of its kind in the world), the stained-glass windows (which were removed for safe-keeping during the Second World War) and the Chapel's remarkable wooden screen which supports the organ.

There is a wonderful Virtual Tour of the Chapel available here.


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