Davenies musicians hit all the right notes as they competed against some of the best prep schools in the country in Haileybury’s Prep Schools Choir of the Year Competition.
Mrs Watson, Miss Graham and Mr Melvin acommpanied 26 excited members of Chamber Choir to Haileybury School to compete in the Haileybury Prep School Choir of the Year competition alongside choirs from a range of other Prep Schools.
The boys enjoyed an action-packed day, arriving at noon to be taken into the dining room for a delicious lunch. After this, there was a warm welcome from Mr Simon Bland, Haileybury’s Director of Music. We were then taken to the Chapel where we warmed up and then performed ‘Danny Boy’, arranged by Alexander L’Estrange, in front of the judges. All the choirs from the various schools performed to an extremely high standard and there was some stiff competition. Chamber Choir really rose to the occasion, and all sang with a beautiful tone, superb intonation and excellent diction. There was a beautiful solo halfway through the song, sung by Hugh (Year 8). The boys sang with wonderful dynamics; they all listened to each other and watched to ensure a very polished and impressive performance.
After a short break and refreshments consisting of music-themed cupcakes, all of the pupils involved in the day enjoyed a rehearsal led by Mr Andrew O’Brien, Head of Choral Music at Haileybury. For the competition, Haileybury had especially commissioned a special Blessing, composed by Thomas Hewitt-Jones, to be sung at the end of the concert by all involved in the competition. This was a very beautiful song, and the boys enjoyed the opportunity to work with Mr O’Brien.
After this, we were treated to a wonderful Chamber Music Concert, performed by a range of Haileybury pupils. We enjoyed a string quartet, flute solo and violin solo. Pupils also spoke about their experiences of studying at Haileybury and our boys were given the opportunity to ask them some questions about what it is like.
Finally, at 4:45 the Final Concert was held. This was in the beautiful Chapel and we were thrilled that it was attended by many Davenies families who came along to support the boys. Each of the competing choirs performed their song. There was then a tense moment when the runner up and winner of the competition were announced, and we were all over the moon to be awarded runner up of the Haileybury Prep School Choir of the Year Competition. The boys enjoyed some lovely comments about their performance and, overall, we felt over the moon to be placed so highly in the competition. It is a real achievement for all the members of Chamber Choir, and much deserved. I feel extremely proud of each and every one of them for their superb performance. After this announcement, all the choirs stood together to perform the Blessing, directed by Mr O’Brien, with Mr Bland accompanying on the organ.
Mrs Watson, Head of Music