On Friday evening, we were delighted to welcome James Burton to Marlborough. A renowned conductor and singer, James directs Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and has worked extensively with the Hallé and at English National Opera.
James led a workshop in Chapel with our newly formed Compline Choir, a small specialist choir for the most talented singers in College, shedding new light on the phrasing and nuance of Vittoria’s ‘Ave Maria’. This was followed by two hours with the 260-strong Choral Society, working towards their performance of Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’ on 13th March. From the first downbeat, James’s passion for and deep understanding of this work was immediately obvious. He certainly put the choir through its paces, focusing especially on the hugely detailed but often subtle dynamic markings that are so integral to a good performance. The room was fizzing as the music came alive.
James’s choir, Schola, are giving a concert on the 5th March in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, prior to their tour of Mexico.
Director of Chapel Music