THIS YEAR the Schola Cantorum of Ampleforth Abbey celebrates its 40th anniversary, a significant milestone and cause for celebration.
To mark the occasion a special concert was planned for last Sunday, May 2, in the abbey church.
The main work will be a performance of the Mozart Requiem with orchestra and soloists.
The remainder of the programme will include some of the students’ favourite works from the choir’s repertoire including works by Parry, Mendelssohn and Haydn.
Prior to the 1970s, singing by boys in the Abbey church was of a more informal nature but on David Bowman’s arrival as Director of Music and with the full support of Basil Hume, the then Abbot, and the headmaster, Patrick Barry, a liturgical choir was formally established. Soon it was contributing to the Abbey liturgy and singing at Choral Mass on Sunday mornings and Friday evenings.
In recent years the school has become fully co-educa tional and that has afforded it the opportunity of developing singing further and both St Martin’s Ampleforth, and the college, have strong singing traditions for girls now.
All choirs have undertaken recordings for radio and television and been on tours abroad. The Schola Cantorum will be travelling to Barcelona in July this year.
Many Old Amplefordians (male and female) will be returning to join the choir for this very special event. Ian Little, the director of music, said: “The gathering together of so many past and present students and teachers will allow us to celebrate the whole Ample forth tradition and the enormous contribution that has been made by many individuals to the liturgy over the years in true style.
“The programme of music chosen is varied and should appeal to music lovers generally. We hope that as many as possible will come and support this historic occasion.”