0 Christ Church Cathedral School wins Oxfordshire County Music Service Award

Community Hub Music Award
Stephen Darlington at Oxfordshire County Music Service Gala Awards

Stephen Darlington receives the Community Hub Music Award on behalf of Christ Church Cathedral School Singing Project from Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, sponsor of the Award, and Zoe Patrick, Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council.

Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) is the first winner of a County cup which recognises contribution to community music. The Oxfordshire Community Hub Music Award was given to the School in recognition of its Cathedral Choristers’ Outreach work over the past decade.

The Oxfordshire Music Hub Cup, donated by Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, was presented to Stephen Darlington, Director of Music at Christ Church, at a formal ceremony on Saturday night, attended by county councillors, mayors and local politicians, along with a large audience. “I am thrilled that all the Choristers’ hard work in visiting so many local primary schools over the past decade has been recognised,” said Dr Darlington, who praised CCCS’s Director of Music, Sophie Biddell, for her flair and commitment to the project.

The CCCS Outreach project began as part of the government Sing Up campaign. When funding was withdrawn, CCCS undertook to keep the project going. More than 50 local schools have now been involved in the project, which aims to encourage singing in primary schools as well as provide training for music teachers.

Richard Murray, Headmaster of CCCS, thanked the Oxfordshire County Music Service Bernardo Mercado - Gala Awards - September 2017for the award. “It is such a privilege for our boys to be able to travel round the County helping to introduce the joys of singing to so many boys and girls,” he said. “It is one of the joys of my job to attend the termly concert in the Cathedral where a number of schools come together to share their new-found passion for music.”

Musical talent at CCCS was also recognised at Saturday’s ceremony when Bernardo Mercado, a Form 7 pupil and Radley Foundation Scholar, received an award for the Most Improved Junior Player of the Year.

0 Schools sing out to celebrate 10th Anniversary Outreach Concert in Christ Church Cathedral

10th Anniversary Outreach Concert in Christ Church Cathedral

10th Anniversary Outreach Concert in Christ Church Cathedral10th Anniversary Outreach Concert in Christ Church Cathedral

Six primary schools from across Oxfordshire joined pupils from Christ Church Cathedral School and the Cathedral Choristers for the 10th Anniversary Outreach Concert in the Cathedral.

A record number of people attended this year’s concert on Monday, which celebrated the fact that more than 50 local schools have been involved in the project over the past decade.

The children performed two pieces of music written by composer John Madden for the occasion.

Christ Church Director of Music Dr Stephen Darlington said: “When we first started this project ten years ago, we could not have imagined the huge number of children who have since been involved.”

The Outreach project is a joint venture between Oxfordshire County Music Service and Christ Church Cathedral School. It is funded by Christ Church Cathedral School and aims to encourage more singing and instrument playing in primary schools and provides training for music teachers.

The schools involved this year were Appleton, North Hinksey, New Hinksey, West Oxford, St Francis, Botley, and Christ Church.

Pete Hughes, Oxford Times, 28 June 2017

Please click here to view this article on the Oxford Times website.


0 Three Choirs Evensong – rehearsal in Christ Church Cathedral

Rehearsal for Three Choirs Evensong

Some photos of the rehearsal for the Three Choirs Evensong which took place on Saturday 6 May 2017 in Christ Church Cathedral. We were delighted to welcome the choirs of Magdalen College and New College to join us in singing the service. The combined forces of the choirs numbered nearly 100 men and boys, and they were directed by Mark Williams, Robert Quinney, and Stephen Darlington. Josef Laming and Alexander Pott played organ music before the service, and Clive Driskill-Smith played during the service and afterwards. We were also delighted to see among the congregation many members of the Federation of Cathedral Old Choristers’ Associations, who were visiting Oxford and Christ Church for their Annual General Meeting.

Video Diary: Christ Church Cathedral Choir at EU Project Workshops

Old Hispanic Office project website image

Earlier this year Christ Church Cathedral Choir sang at two very exciting workshops as part of the EU-funded Old Hispanic Office project. The focus of the project is Iberia’s early-medieval Christian liturgy – this is being studied by an international group of musicologists and liturgical historians who are collaborating with contemporary composers. In December 2014 a competition was announced in which EU composers were invited to write short pieces that engage with the work of the project. Twenty composers were shortlisted, and their pieces were workshopped by Kokoro Ensemble, Bristol Cathedral Choir, or Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Bristol and Oxford in March this year.

To see the choirs and composers in action, please click on this video diary of the composition competition workshops.

To learn more about one of the pieces sung by Christ Church Cathedral Choir (Effundum Spiritum Meum – I Will Pour Out My Spirit – by Benedict Todd), please see this podcast.

For further details please see the Old Hispanic Office project website.


In Bermuda

In 2009 the Choir worked with local singers from schools and community choirs to celebrate Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary. Stephen started the rehearsals in autumn 2008, a few months in advance of the festival during which Christ Church Cathedral Choir traveled there to work with the local Bermudan singers in an intensive week of workshops and performances.