Nine members of the school choir from Divisions VI, VII & VIII attended the tenth annual Choral Day at King's School Ely on Tuesday. They joined 280 children from a total of thirteen other schools for a truly inspirational day led by Dominic Peckham, one of the UK's finest, young, dynamic conductors and choral specialists.
Dominic's unique and inimitable style had the children totally focussed; watching, listening and responding within moments of starting his workshop. Despite having only just returned from a gruelling trip to Hong Kong, Dominic's boundless energy and enthusiasm kept the children spellbound and motivated throughout the day and they experienced a wide variety of singing styles. After morning rehearsals in the King's Ely Music School the afternoon saw the children process across to the magnificent Ely Cathedral where they experienced the wonderful acoustics as they sang plainsong in the various areas including the Lady Chapel.
After further rehearsals to bring all the different elements of the day together, the final concert in front of parents, friends and several tourists(!) opened with the wonderful sound of the Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir and it was delightful to see and hear Old Aquilian Grace Owen in this impressive choir.
The youngsters then took over, their performance comprising four pieces of music. Starting with a powerful tribal song 'Mangwani Mpulele', in the South African language of Sotho, the music then went on through George Michael's 'Freedom' (with Ethan Newton-Walters taking on the solo role!), to a haunting Swedish folk tune through to the contemporary 'Human' by Rag N Bone Man complete with Dominic's beat-box accompaniment.
Every item was performed a capella and with the children singing in several different parts, requiring huge concentration. The effect was truly impressive and both the performers and the appreciative audience came away buzzing with excitement and a real sense of achievement.