new music wells 76-16 - Premiering a piece by the Master of the Queen's Music!

Head boy and girl choristers, Hugh Latta and Orla Donoghue, give their thoughts on the events of the new music wells 76-16 festival.

Hello my name is Hugh Latta and I am Head Boy Chorister at Wells Cathedral. At Evensong this evening I was very privileged to be singing in the first performance of a new anthem by Judith Weir CBE as part of new music wells 76-16. I really enjoyed singing this piece because I thought the words were very meaningful, such as:
'Dove by dove, He calls
To set each on the golden walls:''
The text is a poem written by Christina Rossetti (1830-94). The music was beautiful and had a lot of dynamic change, including some hushed, tranquil moments. It was exciting to sing, especially in front of the composer. We have been rehearsing for this performance for most of this week and was a special way to finish this half term.
Hugh Latta

We are used to not having a lot of time to rehearse some of the pieces we sing, but it is unusual to premiere two new pieces in one week (as the girls have done this week). We are very lucky to have music written for us and it is particularly special to be able to sing music composed by people who have been to the same school as us, as well well as by well-known composers such as Judith Weir. We are very grateful to the Cathedral commissioners who make this happen. 
Orla Donoghue

Matthew Owens conducts the rehearsal of Judith Weir's new work as the composer looks on

Judith Weir CBE with Matthew Owens and the choristers (above)

The head choristers ask the composer to sing their scores (below)

Pride of Wells

Maddie Perring, Head Girl Chorister, writes:

Yet another fantastic opportunity was thrown our way on Monday 6th October when we were invited to perform with The Script at the Pride of Britain Awards

The Script is a very popular band and quite well known with the ‘youngsters’. When we were told about this invitation, it went down very well, especially with the girls... The song we had to sing is one of their latest songs, quite different to what we sing on a daily basis in the Cathedral! 

After rehearsals with Mr Owens we were finally on our way to London. Everyone enjoys coach trips, including the choristers! We had a running commentary through London from our bus driver and we soon arrived at The Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane where the awards were taking place. It was a grand hotel surrounded by very expensive shops. I think I can safely say we all felt like royalty! We checked in and were led through what felt like a maze to get to our ‘green room’. We were all eager to meet The Script but we had to wait for a while before our scheduled slot for rehearsal. 

Eventually, the time came. We were taken to a beautiful, large ballroom with a stage, and at that point, we all felt like pop stars. Meeting The Script for the first time was incredible. They were all so friendly! They made us feel at home, they couldn’t do enough for us, and best of all; they wanted our autographs! It was like a dream. Some of the choristers were asking me to pinch them! After our crazy rehearsal, we had dinner back in our room and then we had to prepare for the big performance. Everyone was running cues through their heads; where to look, when to come on, when to come off. Time dragged by, making us more nervous by the minute. 

Eventually, we were called to the stage. We looked over the balcony and saw countless celebrities (including Prime Minister David Cameron!). That was when the nerves really kicked in. But, I think I can safely say we all performed brilliantly (judging by the playback on TV), and I can definitely say we all thoroughly enjoyed it. All I can say now is: what’s next for the Wells Cathedral Choristers?