Bedales choir sing Evensong at Queens’ College, Cambridge

Posted on 06th March 2020

The Bedales choir visited Queens’ College, Cambridge on 4 March to sing Evensong with the college’s esteemed Chapel Choir.

Repertoires from the service – which was conducted by Queens’ College’s Director of Music, Ralph Allwood MBE – included Dyson’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D and Haydn’s Insanae et vanae curae, as well as music by William Smith and Richard Farrant composed in the Elizabethan period. The choirs were accompanied by a former organ scholar from Cambridge.

The opportunity to sing Evensong at Queens’ comes five months after Ralph Allwood – who was previously the Director of Music at Eton College – visited Bedales to deliver a sight-reading workshop to the choir.

Bedales student Sampson Keung said: “It was a wonderful experience to sing in Queens’ College’s beautiful chapel with fantastic acoustics and such a rich history.”

Bedales Director of Music Doug McIlwraith added: “It was a very proud moment for me to hand over the Bedales choir to Ralph Allwood to rehearse for Evensong. They had worked extremely hard on some difficult and expressive music and, despite Bedales not having a chapel tradition, they quickly absorbed the rhythm and flow of the service. It was particularly poignant to hear them singing music from the Tudor period and chanting the psalms of David. I think the high point of the trip was singing Dyson’s rousing Magnificat in D, which was written in 1907 and is hugely impressive and dramatic. It is a firm favourite with college and cathedral choirs and I think our Bedalians rose to the occasion and sang with great passion and precision.”

The Music List for the Evensong Service can be viewed on the Queens’ College website here: https://www.queens.cam.ac.uk/life-at-queens/music-arts-drama/chapel-choir