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.
27th March 2020
Whilst we are unable to gather for our Passiontide Service, it is still possible to share the music we would have enjoyed, and find a moment of peace.
17th January 2020
This January Chapel Choir recorded a new album at Merton College Chapel, Oxford. 'A Winter's Night' will be available to purchase later in the year.
8th January 2020
The stunning collection of Chinese art bequeathed to the school by Major Montagu and Eileen Duberly in honour of their son James, is now available to view online through the development of a new Winchester College Collections Database.
12th December 2019
The Mince Pie Concerts are one of the highlights of the advent calendar at school. Sixth form pupil, and appreciative audience member, Carson reviews this year's offering.
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.
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.