‘Joy has dawned’ – our very special Christmas concert in Southwark Cathedral

Senior School Music

On 8th December 2016 I walked into Southwark Cathedral for the first time. I was amazed at its size and how many different rooms there were. There was a lot of artwork and on the stone steps were names of countless churches in England. I even found St Barnabas, Dulwich!

I felt very proud that I was given the chance to sing in such a famous and beautiful cathedral. My choir, the Chorale, was singing two pieces, ‘Myn Lyking’ and ‘Joy has Dawned’, arranged by Dr Lee. It was lovely to sing a piece which had been arranged by one of JAGS’ own music teachers.

We found that we all had to project our voices a lot more so that we could be heard in the very large space. The concert in full was about two hours long and Chorale was in the second half. This was quite difficult as we had to come after some wonderful orchestral playing and Holst Choir and the JAGS Choral Society who had sung beautifully in the second half. I was singing an opening solo for ‘Joy has Dawned’ and it was quite nerve wracking. I had to step down from where everyone else was standing to sing my solo and I could feel everyone’s eyes on me. I was a little nervous when the piano started playing but when I started singing I began to enjoy myself a lot more and I was quite sad when it was over. There is a really high descant that some of my friends and I had to sing, but in the end I think it all came together really well and we all had lots of fun.

I particularly liked at the end of the concert where everyone including the audience sang two favourite carols. I felt that we all got together as a group of girls and really sang our hearts out. I absolutely loved my experience in Southwark Cathedral and would like to go again!

Erin Mayhew Y8

This year, I was part of the Recorder Consort at the Christmas concert in Southwark Cathedral. It was amazing performing in the cathedral, surrounded by all the beautiful and impressive architecture and it has a lovely atmosphere. As the recorder is a very old instrument, the cathedral was a very appropriate setting to be playing in.

We played one serious piece by Bach and then the more cheerful, traditional ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. We also featured in the two finale pieces – the hymn ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and the well-known Christmas song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. During these two pieces we stood in the nave so we were really among the audience and could hear all the choirs and other instruments but also the audience singing so we had a wonderful cacophony of sounds. It also meant the audience could hear us!

As there are only four of us in Recorder Consort I was quite nervous. However, everyone played very well and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Overall, I really enjoyed the whole experience of being in the Christmas concert. I look forward to next year so I can do it again.  

Lydia Taylor Y9


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