On Sunday, 6th May, the Schola Cantorum visited Oriel College in Oxford to sing a joint Evensong with this Oxford choir.
With a direct link through Mr Stafford, an alumnus of the college, the choir rehearsed under the directorship of Dr. David Maw, the Associate Professor of Music. In what was a celebration of the English late–romantic tradition, the choral menu included Howells, Vaughan Williams and Stanford. Following the introit of O Taste and See and Psalm 45, the joint choirs sang Stanford’s Canticles in G Major with soloists Eithne Yates-Kneen and Oliver Pilgrim. Both sang wonderfully well, floating their solos over the choir of some forty singers in a chapel that full of current students, fellows and parents. Stanford’s lyrical Beati Quorum Via served as the anthem before the students were treated to a deeply philosophical homily from the eminent Professor of the Philosophy of Christian Religion, Brian Leftow.
A wonderful experience for the choir to sing in such a setting, coupled with gleaning an insight into the workings of an Oxbridge college on what proved to be one of the best bank holiday weather weekends in recent times.