Chamber Choir & ETS conquer the most prestigious choral venue, St. Peter’s, Vatican City

Chamber Choir & ETS conquer the most prestigious choral venue, St. Peter’s, Vatican City

On Friday 14 February Caterham School’s two sacred choirs, Chamber Choir and ETS performed as part of a mass in the mighty St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. Their confidence, style and precise singing was highly regarded by the audience and the resident musical director. This was their first performance on their tour to Rome; other concerts at St. Paul’s Within the Wall and All Saints’ churches were also highly impressive and demonstrated their choral prowess. It is testament to the dedication, commitment and musical talents of every member that both choirs achieved such commendable performances. The youngest members of the choir are in Year 5 (Prep School) and the oldest in Upper Sixth Form (Senior School): a shining example of the through-school experience at Caterham School. The younger singers in particular should be congratulated on their maturity and stamina-intense, formal choral recitals and services are demanding for any performer. Our senior pupils should be thanked for modelling such excellent musicianship and professionalism. 

The choirs presented a programme of British choral music from early composers such as Purcell to modern composers such as Tavener and Todd. The Chamber Choir’s unaccompanied anthems showed sensitivity and depth which did justice to the stunning acoustics of St. Paul’s. The choirs singing together produced a powerful yet sublime sound; ETS’s soaring descents were effortless and uplifting. From the senior school, Aldi H’s solo, Purcell’s moving ‘Dido’s Lament’ was breath-taking and Raife N’s debut performances of his original composition, on the piano, was met with rapturous applause. 

Aside from the performances, the choirs enjoyed an itinerary full of wonderful cultural experiences including a visit to the Colosseum and a pizza-making workshop. Gelato and other authentic foods were enjoyed throughout the tour and games and quizzes rounded-off each day with much humour, laughter and fun. The boutique hotel, near the centre of Rome, together with the local eatery, Ristorante La Famagilla were all perfectly suited to our particularly stylish ensemble of singers.

Chamber Choir and ETS have an impressive musical CV; prestigious venues, recordings and radio appearances as well as stunning performances within the school such as Harvest, Christmas and Remembrance services. This tour to Rome, particularly with the grand highlight of St. Peter’s, marks and celebrates their success over the years. Furthermore, the choirs continue to represent Caterham School impeccably in every respect. 

Congratulations to every member of Chamber Choir and ETS on another unforgettable experience.

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