King Edward’s Witley Chapel Choir is used to receiving prestigious invitations to perform across the UK and around the world, however they recently received a very special request which they were delighted to accept.
It presented the Choir with the opportunity to perform at the Annual Service for the election of the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Horners, which, by tradition, takes place on the Feast of Candlemas in St James Church, Garlickhythe in the City of London.
The Chapel Choir performed two iconic pieces in the church; Parry’s, ‘I was Glad’, which has been performed at every Coronation, and ‘Call of Wisdom’ for the Queen’s Diamond Anniversary performance at St Paul’s Cathedral. Rather fittingly the Worshipful Company of Horners financially supported the commissioning of this piece which was written by Will Todd, a local composer. During the formal dinner which followed the service, Max, one of King Edward’s Music Scholars in Year 10, performed a solo recital on the trumpet.
The new Master of Worshipful Company of Horners is Mr Alderman Gordon Warwick Haines MBE. He and his wife, Mrs Caroline Haines both have long standing connections with King Edward’s and both have served as governors. The Worshipful Company of Horners is both an ancient guild and livery company as well as a modern City institution having first been referenced in 1284. The ceremony marked yet another important engagement linked to the School’s established ties with the City of London, following Nicholas Ridley’s (Bishop of London) vision to create a place for the training and education of poor children back in 1553 which led to its foundation.
Stasio Sliwka, Director of Music at King Edward’s Witley said, “Music is at the heart of life at King Edward’s and our Choirs form an important part of our musical activities. Chapel Choir sings at weekly services in School, regularly performs in London and sings in cathedrals throughout the UK and abroad, including most recently, performances in Rome and Venice. It was an honour and pleasure for the choir to be invited to participate in this special commemorative event and a wonderful experience that each pupil will be able to look back on years from now.”