The most ambitious musical performance in St Clement Danes’ history took place on Saturday evening at the Watford Colosseum when the school’s first orchestra was joined by its choirs and those from Parmiter’s School and the Tring Choral Society to perform the Verdi Requiem.
Conducted by Director of Music Anna Stevens, the talented musicians had the honour of performing with world class soloists: SCD parents Melissa Alder (soprano), Christine Rice (Mezzo Soprano) and David Gwynne-Evans (Tenor) and Old Dane Thomas Isherwood (Baritone). The orchestra also included local professional musicians, parents and ex-students along with members of the Amersham Band. With nearly 200 choir members and 100 in the orchestra, the sound was incredible, both in the climactic moments of the Dies Irae and in the exquisitely beautiful passages in the Libera me.
Dr Valentine, who sang in the choir, said it was the most memorable moment in all her years at the school and paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of Miss Stevens in rehearsing such a large scale event over the past months. Anna Stevens said ‘it was a real privilege to conduct such an amazing group of people’. After a lengthy standing ovation, audience members took to Twitter to record their admiration for the performance, with one saying ‘Incredible. And congrats to all for the sheer chutzpah in putting on this outrageously good #verdirequiem.’ All involved at St Clement Danes will now be taking a well-earned break as school ends for the summer.