On Sunday 19th March, the College was delighted to welcome our President, the Rt Reverend Stephen Lake, the new Bishop of Salisbury, for his first visit.
The Bishop came on the occasion of the Marlborough College Choral Society concert of Verdi’s Requiem. Widely regarded as one of the greatest choral works of all time, the work is a choral and orchestral setting of the Catholic Mass for the Dead with text drawn from the Latin Requiem Mass. It is a work of huge drama and colour, combining sacred and operatic styles and in so doing, creating a work of both religious devotion and theatrical power.
The combined choirs of the local Choral Society and our own Chapel Choir, alongside the professional orchestra and soloists totalled in excess of 300 performers on the night, in a packed Chapel. A special mention should be made of the Conductor, Adam Meehan-Staines, our Director of Chapel Music, who certainly coaxed the required musical impact from the massed choir, orchestra and soloists; and of the notable performance of the orchestra which contained no fewer than 11 current or past Marlburians, alongside 15 members of the College’s music teaching staff. Their performance was impressive indeed and a testament to the depth of the musical talent amongst our community at the College, both past and present.
Prior to the concert, the Bishop said a few words about the Marlborough Difference Campaign for life-changing bursaries. He said that since technically clergymen can only dedicate things and bless people that he would bless the young people who will benefit from receiving the bursaries. He said that launching a major bursary campaign was absolutely the right thing for schools like Marlborough to be doing and he was incredibly supportive of its aims.
It was a hugely enjoyable concert and evening, which marked the 90th year of this musical collaboration between the local Choral Society and our own Chapel Choir. The retiring collection from the concert was in aid of the College’s Marlborough Difference Campaign.