As I approach the end of my first term as a Choral Scholar and music student at Royal Holloway, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my experiences over the past few months since arriving back in September.
And what a few months these have been!
Emerging from a post-A Level summer unlike any other seen before, many of us were unsure of what our first term singing with the choir would look like. All of our previous singing commitments had come to an abrupt end, and though we all felt a little rusty to begin with, it didn’t take long for us to fall easily into the swing of the new way of doing things.
We began with an intense week of rehearsals and recording- culminating in the recording of Carson Cooman’s oratorio ‘As we are changed’ with the London Mozart Players and soloists Sarah Fox and Robert Murray. As if that wasn’t enough, we also aired a live evensong on BBC 3, as well as pre-recording for a broadcast on 23rd December! Singing Christmas carols in the lingering summer warmth of September was certainly an ironic experience… however, in a year in which has seen face coverings as mandatory in choir rehearsals, we have certainly learnt to adapt to the strange environment in which we’re living.
Other highlights of my time here so far have included the recording of our feature on BBC Songs of Praise, to be released on 13th December, as well as constant live streams of evensongs, morning chapel and our midweek concerts. I also look forward very much to watching the live stream of our St Cecilia’s concert; an exciting programme of choral favourites, including Britten’s extraordinary 'Hymn to St Cecilia' which awaits listeners from the 21st November on the Chapel Choir Live stream webpage.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences I’ve gained already since coming here, and the amazing people I’m meeting along the way. It’s been an immense privilege to be able to continue our socially distanced rehearsals and live streams even during a second national lockdown- and I am filled with anticipation looking forward to what exciting projects and performances await us as we emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic.