On Saturday 4th May 2019, Winchester College Chapel Choir took part in an Amicabilis Concordia Evensong to mark the end of Stephen Cleobury’s tenure as Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge. For the Evensong and subsequent dinner, Chapel Choir joined the choirs of King’s College Cambridge, New College Oxford and Eton College.
The Amicabilis Concordia (literally the ‘friendly agreement’) was signed in 1444 between the four Colleges. Nowadays, a gathering of such a size is rare; the previous Evensongs involving all four choirs took place in 2005, 1992 (in honour of Julian Smith), and 1968.
For me, the highlight of the trip to Cambridge was the hour of rehearsal before Evensong. The opportunity to sing under the legendary direction of Dr Cleobury, and being part of such detailed and precise music-making, despite the size of the massed choir, was unforgettable. It was truly remarkable how focused Dr Cleobury’s rehearsal was and how the four choirs combined, under his guidance, with such ease. The Evensong that followed was suitably grand. The repertoire of Howells’ Collegium Regale (written for the choir of King’s) and Kenneth Leighton’s ‘Let All the World In Every Corner Sing’ allowed the massed choir, of roughly 150 singers, to fill the vast chapel with sound.
After this was a dinner in College Hall which featured a tribute to Dr Cleobury from Robert Quinney (Director of Music at New College). It was a thoroughly enjoyable way to finish the day.
In the words of Mr Ionascu, Director of Winchester’s Chapel Choir, ‘It was a day that will live long in the memories of all those who were present. And a fitting tribute to Stephen Cleobury’s long and distinguished career as Director of Music at King’s.’
Read more about the Amicabilis Concordia and other traditions at the school.
7th November 2019
Further success for upper-sixth musician Luke, who has been appointed Organ Scholar of Worcester Cathedral for 2020-21. His role will involve playing in Cathedral services and helping train the choristers.
1st November 2019
Not many schools have their own River Keeper. Mark Sankey tells us about managing the water meadows, the biodiversity of the Itchen, and filming with the BBC.
30th September 2019
The Treasury museum at the school is now free to the public and open daily, as we make these wonderful treasures more accessible to all.
15th August 2019
As part of its commitment to improve access to all, the school has started to run tours for the visually impaired, which are providing a different perspective on many aspects of the school for everyone involved as guides and participants are encouraged to experience the medieval buildings and environment in new ways.
9th July 2019
To mark the 200th anniversary of Keats's time in Winchester, the school will host two public talks and a new exhibition about the poet.
27th June 2019
Falling in the First World War, former pupil, Captain William Miles Kington was only recently identified. Two of our teaching staff travelled to the Tyne Cot cemetery to attend the Ceremony of Rededication of his headstone.