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.
26th June 2020
There is always something to celebrate at Winchester College and the last couple of years have been particularly full of significant anniversaries - the opening of the boarding houses and the conversion of Commoners into classrooms - and this summer sees the 150th anniversary of the opening of Moberly Library.
14th June 2020
Sadly, due to COVID-19, Winchester Match is one the events, which have been cancelled this summer. Here, archivist Suzanne Foster, looks back at how Winchester Match developed into the event we know today and shares how it looked in past years.
10th June 2020
Whilst the important commemorations of major moments in the Second World War have dominated our collective consciousness in recent months, there are important episodes in British history from that critical period that are less known but where Old Wykehamists played significant roles. History teacher, James Webster, delves into the details.
1st June 2020
Two brothers write of their experiences of lockdown together, with one studying for exams, and the other continuing his singing, remotely.
31st May 2020
Quiristers have been singing at Winchester College since 1394. The current situation could not be allowed to disrupt that tradition. Therefore online rehearsals and recording individual voices remotely have become the new ways of keeping the sound of Chapel Choir with us.
29th May 2020
The role of our Porters - providing a warm welcome - as well as security for the school is as important today as it was 600 years ago. Suzanne Foster, our College Archivist, explains how the job has evolved over the centuries.