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Songs for the Solstice Concert in Durham Cathedral

The Joint Choirs of Mowden Hall and Cothill House performed at Durham Cathedral on 21 June.

Following enjoyable and successful collaborations at St. Bride’s Fleet Street, Hexham Abbey and Winchester Cathedral in recent years, Mowden choir was delighted to be teaming up again with the boys of Cothill House for another joint venture – this time in the iconic and beautiful setting of Durham Cathedral.  On a perfect mid-summer evening, after many weeks of preparation (though with just two rehearsal opportunities together) and fortified for the occasion courtesy of Pizza Express, the performers took up their positions.

Songs for the Solstice featured an eclectic mix of mainly 20th Century sacred and secular choral music including works by George Gershwin, Geoffrey Burgon, Malcolm Archer and John Rutter.  The two choirs performed brilliantly both in their six joint items, and three individual choices, providing a feast of musical colour and contrast.  The programme also showcased excellent solos from our own Amelia on flute and Freddie on the bagpipes, as well as from Leo, Cothill’s gifted young violinist who astonishingly is still only in Year 5.  Congratulations to all the performers, and thanks to the accompanists and conductors (especially Graham Howell and Stephen Taylor, sine quibus non) to the many family members, friends and colleagues who supported the concert, and to Durham Cathedral for their helpfulness and hospitality.

A retiring collection was taken in aid of the Cathedral’s newly-launched Foundation 2020 fundraising initiative, which aims to provide a sustainable future for the repair of the historic medieval buildings. The two schools were thrilled to be able to perform on behalf of such a worthwhile cause; the concert will live long in our memories.