St Benedict's Celebrates 120 Years at Ealing Abbey

Students, alumni, staff and professional soloists perform in concert

The St. Benedict's School Choir and Orchestra perform Haydn
The St. Benedict's School Choir and Orchestra perform Haydn


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A concert to mark the St. Benedict’s School’s 120th Anniversary took place on Saturday 26 March in Ealing Abbey.

Participants included students, staff, alumni and professional soloists invited for the occasion.

In the opening words of St Benedict's Director of Music, Chris Eastwood, the evening was “a wonderful celebration of music, faith, hope and joy”, as musicians from the age of 11 upwards came together to perform three major works.

The concert began with Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, and the St Benedict’s orchestra conveyed the mixture of drama, lyricism, dramatic fury and exuberance of the composer’s final symphony.

Next came a new commission by alumnus and composer Samuel D. Loveless, who is in his final year of a Masters in Composition at the Royal College of Music. “‘Soul’ is a work that looks at the essence of what it means to be part of the St Benedict’s community”, said Samuel - “a celebration of people, friendship and family, and what we can achieve together."

Samuel’s musical career began as a chorister at Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s current Director of Music, Chris Eastwood, taught him A Level Music. ‘Soul’ is written for choir, chamber orchestra and organ, and musical influences in the piece include plainsong, choral music spanning 600 years and the harmonies and rhythms of African music.

Finally, the St Benedict’s Consort Choir and Orchestra returned to the music of Haydn, with a performance of his Nelson Mass. They were joined by four professional soloists, soprano Iúnó Connolly, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Stockland, tenor Tom Cragg and baritone Theo Parry.

The Headmaster of St Benedict’s, Andrew Johnson, said, “This was the most wonderful concert for the School’s 120th anniversary, with amazing performances by our talented musicians, superbly led by Chris Eastwood. It was made even more special by the premiere of ‘Soul’, an intriguing, beautiful piece which was perfect for the occasion.”

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March 31, 2022

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