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Chapel Choir’s 40th Anniversary Performance of ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of ‘A Ceremony of Carols’, performed by Queen Mary’s School Chapel Choir. Established in 1980, the concert has taken place in a variety of locations since its inception, including the Chapel of Duncombe Park, St Mary’s, Thirsk, Baldersby St James Church and St John’s Sharow. 

This year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Chapel Choir performed Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ in school, processing into the candlelit Great Hall from the Sunken Gardens. The choir was accompanied by talented harpist Sarah Paterson.   

Director of Music, Sarah Holloway Lloyd said: “Every year I am astonished by the timeless quality of this astonishing piece of music which consistently has the ability to engage and enthuse young people. It is a true masterpiece that one never tires of listening to each Christmas. The atmosphere at this year’s performance was utterly spine-tingling. We have rehearsed all term with social distancing measures in place and it is wonderful that this landmark anniversary performance was able to go ahead. In many ways it was even more magical performing it in school and I was extremely proud of the girls’ performance.” 

Former Director of Music, Nicholas Carter who established the concert, said: “I am delighted that the tradition started so many years ago is still continuing today at Queen Mary’s, as is the more recent custom of giving the entire concert by candlelight – a truly inspiring experience. Long may the Ceremony continue to weave its magic!”

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