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The King’s Singers

The Eastbourne College Music Department was delighted to host the internationally renowned vocal ensemble The King’s Singers for a special anniversary concert on Tuesday 2 May. This was enjoyed by the whole school, friends of the College and members of the public.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Chapel Choir had the opportunity to spend an hour rehearsing two pieces with the group:                A Thanksgiving, specially composed by Bob Chilcott for the group in 2008; and Only in Sleep by the Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds, another composer with whom the group have a strong connection. 

For the school choir it was a marvellous opportunity to work with the six singers, gain some useful feedback and top-class performing advice. Only in Sleep also featured Year 11 pupil Sian Sulke as soprano soloist. Sian gained particular praise from the group and spent some time fine-tuning and polishing her performance for the evening concert.

At 6.45pm, before a 750-strong audience, The King’s Singers presented a varied and thoroughly entertaining programme featuring music by Byrd, Reger and Tallis, as well as some folk songs, a spiritual and a première of their own arrangement of All of Me by John Legend. 

The Chilcott piece allowed an appropriate moment of reflection for the College’s Celebration 150 year, beginning with the words of St Richard of Chichester: ‘Thanks be to thee Lord Jesus Christ for all the benefits which thou hast given us’. The Esenvalds was an emotional, powerful and beautiful performance, with Sian Sulke almost stealing the show with her stunning solo.

For most pupils in the audience, hearing some of the finest a capella singing in the world was a totally new experience and one which will have inspired and enthused and will lead the way to an a capella element in next year’s house singing competition.

Here is a short film of the masterclass and concert: The King’s Singers at Eastbourne College

The concert will live long in the memory for many as a golden opportunity to hear one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles. The College thanks them for a wonderful day and wishes them many happy returns as they look to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018.