Prior's Field September 2018

Celebrating Headship

Published Wednesday 20th of April 2016 03:55:26 PM

A wonderful Gala Concert in Ealing Abbey Church on Saturday 19th March celebrated fourteen years of Chris Cleugh’s Headship at St Benedict’s School. Mr Cleugh is retiring in August 2016 and pupils, staff, parents, Old Priorians, professional soloists and a professional orchestra combined to give him a fabulous musical send-off! The concert was conducted by the school’s Director of Music, Christopher Eastwood. The Concert Choir started the programme with Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’, the anthem written for the coronation service of King George II in 1717 and played at every succeeding coronation since then. This was followed by a special commission by Christopher Eastwood entitled ‘A Prayer to St Joseph.’ For this piece parents, staff and Old Priorians joined the Consort Choir together with renowned tenor Mark Chaundy, one of St Benedict’s singing teachers, who performed a fine tenor solo from the Abbey gallery. Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’, perhaps his best known work, completed the first half, with the Eliana Pretorian (Soprano) and Lily Papaiaonnou (Mezzo-Soprano) singing the solo sections . Mozart’s last work, his ‘Requiem’, completed the programme. This monumental piece was superbly sung by the Concert Choir with Sam Queen (Bass) adding his solo voice to the previous performers. Pupils, staff, OPs and parents who sang loved the experience of coming together and creating such a special evening. The enjoyment gained, discipline learned and sense of achievement felt by the St Benedict’s pupils makes putting on large choral concerts so worthwhile. The performance was even more impressive bearing in mind how little rehearsal time there was, especially for the parents and Old Priorians. All the performers made this an evening to remember. Mr Cleugh said: “Congratulations and thank you for the wonderful Gala Concert. The dedication of the Concert to my time here was very humbling.”
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